Marwood: City can go all the way

Manchester City have built a squad capable of "having a tilt" at all four competitions this season, their football administrator Brian Marwood has claimed.

Football News: Manchester City

City face a baptism of fire in the Champions League following Thursday's draw, which placed them in Group A with Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Napoli, but Marwood insists Roberto Mancini's men can go all the way in Europe's top club competition - and in the Premier League, FA Cup and Carling Cup too.

Marwood said: "Given how we've built the squad over the last three years we feel we can have a tilt at four competitions."

Asked if it was realistic to go for all four, he added: "I think you have to start on that basis. It's not right for me to say we're going to prioritise one competition ahead of the other.

"Speaking to Roberto during the summer and talking about the players he wanted to bring in, it was an ambition of his to really compete for four trophies and that's how we start.

"The football club is making history. It's the first time it's ever competed at this level and it's such an exciting time for everyone connected with the club to be sat in a room with some of the best teams in Europe and the world. It's a fantastic moment for the club.

"I'd have loved some of our fans to have sat there who have experienced those wet horrible nights at some of those dark and dank football grounds over the last 15 years that they've had to do.

"The ambition is to stay at this level. One thing this football club has been over the years is inconsistent and we have to make sure we are coming back here year after year."

Manchester United were given a much easier draw, in Group C alongside Benfica, the club they beat to secure their first European Cup in 1968, as well as Swiss champions Basle and unknowns Otelul Galati from Romania, who are making their bow in the competition.

Arsenal have to overcome Marseille, Greek champions Olympiakos and a potentially tricky test against Borussia Dortmund - the club among the pot of fourth seeds to avoid - in Group F.

Chelsea will face Valencia, the former club of latest new signing Juan Mata, and Genk from Belgium in Group E. United's group appears the easiest on paper, and Sir Alex Ferguson's men kick off the European campaign away against Benfica.

Ferguson told www.manutd.com: "We've played Benfica in the past and they're always great games, and there's great history between the two clubs.

"Basle are a Swiss team who are doing really well. Swiss teams tend to bring lots of young players through their system which is great. We have played them before, in 2002/03, in the group stage.

"We don't really know much about Otelul Galati but that's the beauty of the Champions League, you get fresh teams to play against. They obviously deserve to be in the competition."

Otelul Galati director general Marius Stan confirmed their home matches will be played in Bucharest because their stadium does not meet UEFA standards.

Champions League Group Stage

Group A Group B Group C Group D
Bayern Munich Trabzonspor  Manchester United Olympique Lyonnais
Manchester City LOSC Lille FC Basle Dinamo Zagreb
SSC Napoli CSKA Moscow Otelul Galati Real Madrid
Villareal Inter Milan Benfica Ajax

 

Group E Group F Group G Group H
Valencia Arsenal Zenit St. petersburg BATE Borisov
Chelsea Olympiakos Porto Barcelona
Bayer Leverkusen Olympique Marseille Shakhtar Donetsk AC Milan
Racing Genk Borussia Dortmund APOEL Viktoria Plzen


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