Pablo Zabaleta: Man City’s priority is retaining Premier League title
Manchester City defender Pablo Zabaleta says retaining the Premier League is the Citizens' top priority this season
Pablo Zabaleta insists Manchester City’s priority is retaining their Premier League crown this season – and not winning the Champions League.
Roberto Mancini’s side will begin the defence of their title by welcoming newly-promoted Southampton to the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.
The Argentine defender is expecting a close title race, but the 27-year-old maintained Mancini’s squad are determined to follow up last season’s success.
“The Premier League remains our main focus because that is the biggest prize in England,” he told FourFourTwo.
“We know teams will make it even more difficult but we are determined to keep making history with Manchester City. Motivation won’t be a problem.
“We didn’t have the best Champions League campaign and we want to do better this time. It takes time before you are established as a top European team and we will learn from our experiences last year.”
Mancini led City to their first Premier League title in May, with the Eastlands outfit finishing ahead of United on goal difference, ending the club’s 44-year wait for the top-flight crown.
However, Zabaleta believes there is still room for improvement, particularly away from the Etihad, after City lost at the Stadium of Light and Goodison Park in the title run-in last season.
“At the beginning of 2012, we dropped too many points away from home, drawing with West Brom and losing at Sunderland and Everton,” he added.
Zabaleta has made 153 appearances for the Citizens after former City manager Mark Hughes signed the defender from Espanyol in 2008.