15 December 2012 10:18
Manchester City attacker David Silva says the players must accept responsibility for their Champions League failure.
The defending English Premier League champions crashed out of the competition with just two points from six games, finishing bottom of their group and failing to make it through to the Europa League by securing third place.
Silva has come to manager Roberto Mancini’s defence and said it was impossible to expect City to be successful in the Champions League so quickly after rising to title contention in England.
“We’re all responsible for what has happened this season. The way we played in the Champions League – we all have to take the blame for that,” he told the Mirror.
“It didn’t start well in the Champions League and it became an uphill task for us. It didn’t happen. But you can’t just blame the manager.
“I can’t put my finger on what went wrong in Europe. All I can say is when I came to City they were looking to get in the top four. Since then they have won the Premier League, the FA Cup.
“People can’t expect to win the Champions League straightaway. We’ve got very good players and we will get there. It’s an ambition to win it with City but one step at a time.”
Despite their European failures over the past two seasons, Silva was insistent that Mancini remained the right man for the City hot seat.
“All I would say is that since I joined City up to now we have made progress with Roberto,” he said. “All there has been is progress.”
City trail rivals Manchester United by six points at the top of the Premier League table after suffering defeat in the derby, but Silva pointed out they had reeled Sir Alex Ferguson’s team in before.
“It is a gap, it is a big gap but last year we saw how they were in front by quite a lot of points and we won the league anyway,” Silva said. “It can be done – the players do have the hunger to win it again so we’ll go for it.
“If we did that, it would be right up there (as one of his biggest achievements). Winning the Premier League is seen as a big thing. It would be a great achievement to retain it. I’ve been lucky I’ve won a lot of medals but I’d still like to win more.”