City progress excites Robinho
Brazilian superstar Robinho believes Man City are capable of challenging the Premier League elite.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 15/08/09 11:37am
Brazilian superstar Robinho believes Manchester City are capable of challenging the Premier League elite this season.
The Blues are widely regarded as the club best equipped to launch a top-four tilt this term, having spent big over the summer.
The arrival of the Abu Dhabi United Group last year suggested an exciting future was in store at Eastlands, and their riches are now being put to good use.
A new training facility has been built at Carrington, while the Blues' squad is now brimming with world class talent.
Robinho was the first of the big names to arrive, when he completed a record-breaking switch from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day last term, and the Samba star has been mightily impressed by the progress City have made over the last 12 months.
"There have been changes off the field but the main change is within the team," Robinho told the Daily Mail.
"The Real Madrid team were very different because they had players like David Beckham or Raul, who were winners. It was not so much about the size of the clubs, but the winning mentality.
"When I first came to Manchester City I did not see the desire to win every game, week after week. I thought this was missing in the players but maybe it was lack of belief.
"We did not think we could win anywhere, at any ground. The manager had this but the players did not. We had to grow as a team first. We couldn't expect to make so much progress in one season.
"I have experienced this before. If you want to be a great player in Brazil you have to be able to handle the attention and pressure because every game, every tournament, you are expected to win. Second is never good enough.
"It helps me here because, in Brazil, two bad games and you are out, you are finished.
"So when you play in the league here you are used to putting together consistency, 10 good games, no stopping. That is what must happen this season."
Robinho sees no reason why City cannot fulfil their potential in the 2009/10 campaign and is tipping Mark Hughes' men to qualify for the UEFA Champions League and land a long-awaited piece of silverware.
"The first season was okay because I was settling in, but this year, for me and my team-mates, we have got to take off," he added.
"I set targets and now it is no less than 20 goals - and 30 would be fantastic.
"I'm confident in the team's ability, and my ability, to do this. I expect us to be challenging for the Champions League now and next season I expect us to win trophies. Defenders will have to watch all the players at Manchester City this time; it will not just be about me."