Mangala admits to first-season struggles

Date published: Thursday 23rd July 2015 9:36

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Mangala endured a mixed first season at the Etihad Stadium following his £31.9million move from Porto and admits to initially being shocked by some of the unique challenges thrown up in English football.

“I started late and didn’t have a pre-season,” Mangala said. “English football is different. I learned that you can watch the Premier League on the TV and yes it’s very quick and intense, but when you are on the pitch it’s totally different. You’re not used to it.

“For defenders, you have to know the striker will never give up. He presses you for 90 minutes and more, and that’s different.

“In England, you don’t have time to control the ball. You have to make quick decisions and then when you are one on one with the striker sometimes the referee lets play go on when you think it’s a foul.

“So you need to be more focused, ready physically and mentally and always fighting for 90 minutes.

“And that’s against every team. It’s such a difference from other countries where you win against the bottom teams. Okay, you can rest a little bit, you can lose a bit of concentration, but you still win the game. In the Premier League, that’s not possible.

“If I had to put a word for my first season it would be adaptation. You’re not used to it.”

Going into his second season at City with his eyes open, Mangala is confident of showing some improvement.

“I’m very confident for this season,” the 24-year-old added.

“I’ve had four weeks’ holiday. I needed to rest because everyone knows the Premier League is like a marathon. It’s very long, hard and intensive. And you need to rest before working hard.

“Now I know my team-mates, the system and how we play. It’s easier for me to play like that. I’m used to it now. I know the Premier League. I know a bit about what will happen during the game and during the season.

“Manchester City have a lot of players at centre-back and everybody wants to play. That’s normal. We are a big team with very good and important players. I’m fighting to play as many games as possible for the team.”

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