Mancini praises Europa League
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists the Europa League is a 'great competition'.
Last Updated: 09/03/11 8:44am
Roberto Mancini insists the Europa League is a 'great competition' and is hoping to lead Manchester City to the final.
City face Dynamo Kiev in the first leg of their last-16 tie on Thursday and are currently the favourites to win the Europa League.
Though the tournament is often given secondary status due to the magnitude of the Champions League, Mancini believes there is plenty of interest in the competition.
Dynamo stepped down from the Champions League after losing to Ajax in the play-offs and Mancini said: "The Europa League is a great competition.
"There are big teams in it. You can get to the quarter-finals and meet an important team.
"There are a lot of well-known sides in the competition. All the teams we can play usually play in the Champions League. It is a little Champions League. All the teams are big ones."
City then face Reading in the FA Cup quarter-finals at the weekend and Mancini is hoping he can end the club's 35-year wait for a major piece of silverware.
He added: "We will try to reach the final if it is possible, both in the Europa League and the FA Cup. It depends on our players recovering their strength."
David Silva is aware it will be a tough test for City at the Valeriy Lobanovskiy Stadium after being knocked out of the 2008/09 Uefa Cup by Kiev while at former club Valencia.
Silva recalled: "It's a difficult place to go to. We got a 1-1 draw so we didn't do too badly.
"They're a difficult team and at their stadium it's very tough but we're excited about our chances of going through."