Kolo Toure

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes the Premier League champions can win the Champions League this season, as they prepare for their first home game on Wednesday against Borussia Dortmund.The former Barcelona midfielder, who won the competition with the Catalan giants in 2009, said that with other former winners in their squad such as Maicon, Carlos Tevez and Mario Balotelli, they have the experience to go all the way.

The 29-year-old said: ?I have that experience and it is good to have big players like Maicon and Balotelli. It is not easy to win the Champions League.

?Here the club just wants to be in the second round and we know we have to improve because we have a very good team and with a team like this we can go very far in the competition.?

After their opening group game 3-2 defeat against Real Madrid in the Bernabeu, Toure has called on his side to improve defensively if they are to qualify from the group.Roberto Mancini?s side conceded two goals in the final five minutes from Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain to hand Madrid the victory.

?We are playing our first game at home and we want to show the fans we made a mistake in Madrid. We have a tough game against Dortmund,? he added.

?Of course we need to improve when you play against a tough team like Madrid, we need to improve in defensive situations. We have to go beyond that and do better. Most important we have to do our job and get a result.?

Mancini, who was furious with his side?s collapse in Spain in the wake of the defeat, insists his side needs to improve quickly if they want to progress.

While it took Champions League regulars Manchester United and Arsenal some years to find their feet in Europe?s elite competition, Mancini knows his side will be judged much sooner.

?I know that it is difficult to win the Champions League, every game is difficult,? the Italian said. ?This is second year that we?re playing in the Champions League and the second time we have the worst group.

?We know we are a good team like (Manchester) United and Arsenal. We improved in the Premier League and need time to improve in the Champions League.

?But we don?t have time with only five games to go. If we want to go through we need to improve very quickly.?

Mancini accepted that the competition was difficult and was frustrated at the tough draw but was confident that if his side can get out of the ?champions? group of Dortmund, Real Madrid and Ajax, anything can happen in the knockout stages.

The Italian manager has yet to win the competition, despite having claimed league titles in both Italy and England, but hopes this season could change that.

?The Champions League is a difficult competition, the football is the same, the players are the same,? he said. ?The problem when you play is that it is always against the best teams from other countries.

?Every game is difficult. I hope can improve my record in the Champions League. I think the time will come when we can win the Champions League. But we are currently in a difficult group.

?My ambition is to win it but have another five games and we want to go into the second stage. That will be difficult.

?It is difficult for this reason and sometimes when you play in the Champions League you should also be lucky with the draw. It is important to get into the second stage because after that anything can happen because we are a good team.?

Source : AFP


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