Clichy targets double success

No easing up from City defender in Europa League

Gael Clichy: Looking to progress as far as possible in the Europa League

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Gael Clichy has insisted that Manchester City are determined to maintain a strong Europa League challenge alongside their Premier League title push.

City take on Sporting in the first leg of their last-16 clash on Thursday after overcoming another Portuguese team, reigning champions Porto, 6-1 on aggregate in the previous round.

They had no other games between the two legs of that tie, though, and there have been suggestions that Roberto Mancini may this time rest players ahead of a crucial domestic match against Swansea at the weekend.

However, Clichy maintains that there will be no easing up in the Europa League as City strive to finish the season with two pieces of silverware.

The 26-year-old said: "It's really important. At the start of the season we were in four competitions and now it's only two and we have to go for it.

"The best thing is to take game after game, and not think the Premier League is the objective or the Europa League is the objective.

"With the players we have, we can do it - it won't be easy but we have a fair chance if we go step by step.

No fear

"We have been watching a few Sporting games and every time you play against a side from the Portuguese or Spanish leagues they like to play technical football, so it will be difficult.

"They are a good side but we are not scared of any team. We just have to play with our quality and hopefully we can go all the way."

Clichy played in Saturday's 2-0 win over Bolton and was responsible for the opening goal when his long-range shot was deflected in by Trotters defender Gretar Steinsson.

Yet with Aleksandar Kolarov equally impressive in the left-back position against Blackburn the previous week, and Mancini often rotating his full-backs, Clichy accepts he may have to sit out in Portugal.

He said: "You know when you sign for City the competition is there.

"I would like to play in every game but the important thing is to win the title and the Europa League, and it's great when someone brings something to the team."