The victory over Blackburn has seen Nigel de Jong come out and state that the Premier League title is a possibility:
Under Mark Hughes, fourth spot was the hope (with the top six of course the pre-season requirement), seen as an outside chance but our early form saw expectations ramped up before our slide with seven consecutive draws. Now, whilst no-one has taken fourth spot for granted, the bar has been raised by Mancini's arrival and his hot start.
"Of course the title is a possibility. Nothing is impossible. Though nothing is impossible, you have to work for it. You have to be realistic as well and remember this is only season No.1 for us after the big spending and we have to take it step by step.
"That's what it's all about at City at the moment, to try and make a difference between the past and the future. Right now you can see what's happening. Everyone is excited. It was a good performance against Blackburn and we've got to keep that going.
"Of course we can stay in the top four. You see how big the squad is. It's not only the first 11 but the 22 players in the squad. The important thing is the Champions League place and trying to continue in that position. Then, we will see in March and April where we are standing."
The so-called 'easy start' is a much debated topic in recent days, and whilst the Premier League doesn't throw up too many games that are a given, Mancini's early fixtures in the league right through to the time we have back to back games at the end of February against Liverpool and Chelsea are ones that any manager would be happy to open up their time in charge with.A strong run until then could see us with a nice cushion in the Champions League positions with a dozen games remaining, and by far the highest Premier League position we would hold so late into the season.
Think the Premier League is an attainable target though? It will be a huge task. The previous five seasons shows the average number of points to win the Premier League is 90 (a high of 95 and a low of 87).
Although we are on course for fourth spot in terms of points gained so far, history shows how hard it is to win the title. However, the 2009/10 season to date has been one marked by the 'big four' stuttering, and Chelsea who currently hold top spot have 45 points from 20 games and are on pace for 85 points through a full season. Whilst the club had always preached patience with Mark Hughes and the build-slowly approach the very fact that the 'big four' have struggled so much led to Hughes being canned, given that this season was not an opportunity that ADUG felt they could run the risk of slipping by.
Whilst de Jong was engaging in a spot of cheerleading, he did qualify his comments by stating that we should get through to March and April before reflecting further and for all the talk of challenging for the title being exciting and stirring up the support, there is also plenty of views tempering such talk.
However, there is no doubt that Mancini's arrival has really invigorated and raised the belief of a squad that on reflection was perhaps meandering a little under Mark Hughes. Whilst we may be basking in the glow of a honeymoon period for Mancini there does appear to be a real sense of purpose around the side now, and for someone who was always resistant to the idea of replacing Hughes, the move is one that is undoubtedly paying dividends.