Lescott looks to new era
Joleon Lescott knows Manchester City are in a 'new era' as they prepare to make their UEFA Champions League bow against Napoli.
Last Updated: 11/09/11 10:27pm
Joleon Lescott knows Manchester City are in a 'new era' as they prepare to make their UEFA Champions League bow against Napoli on Wednesday night.
City's desire not only to rub shoulders with the continent's established elite, but to take them on and win, has been plain since Sheikh Mansour bought the club three years ago.
The Arab billionaire's lavish player spending spree initially drew derision from some quarters but now City have arrived at Europe's top table, there is a genuine feeling of excitement.
City, boasting talent worth hundreds of millions of pounds, were the dangerous wildcard in the draw the top clubs wanted to avoid.
Roberto Mancini's men proved they were the real deal by ending a 35-year trophy drought and winning the FA Cup last season, and their continued spending since has shown they regard that only as a stepping stone.
Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri have joined a squad already bulging with exciting players in the likes of David Silva, Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Yaya Toure.
Firing on all cylinders
"We had a great season last year but this is a new season now, a new era," said Lescott, himself an expensive recruit at £22million two years ago.
"We've got new signings and once everyone is together and firing on all cylinders I am sure we will be there or thereabouts."
After making an impressive start to the domestic season, City should be confident of getting through to the knockout stages, when their presence in the competition could really start to be felt.
Also on the agenda in Group A are Bayern Munich and Villarreal, but captain Vincent Kompany is confident they will be able to challenge the established order.
He said: "We have a lot of potential and have much still to improve.
"But we are going to be ready - we are a strong team, an organised team."