There is an interview in today's Mail between Martin Samuel and Roberto Mancini which I do recommend you take a look at; it is a very good read indeed.
The main theme throughout the interview is Mancini's almost fanatical and almost maniacal desire to instill a winning culture and mentality within the squad - a process that you'll remember Mark Hughes continually strived to achieve - and there are some very interesting quotes from him.
On the subject of training sessions, a supposed bug bear of elements within the squad:
"I knew I would have problems with the training sessions because when I spoke to my friends David Platt and Gianluca Villa they said English players only want to work in the morning.
But if you spend the week playing at three o'clock and eight o'clock it is not right to work only in the morning. Your body is not ready for it. So we change.
I knew it would be difficult, but I tell the players the job is football and with football you live very well. Not just you, but your family and sometimes everybody you know; so you must be 10 per cent ready and this is how you get 100 per cent ready. It should not be impossible for you to compromise.
And last year, I gave a little; not this year. This year we change."
And perhaps addressing those elements:
"There are players whose only target is their day off and that is a big problem. You must replace them with those whose target is the win against Chelsea, then against Arsenal, then against Manchester United, who will work every day for this. Yes, there is still the day off, but you must never lose your focus even then.
Before, at this club, there were players whose targets were wrong, but that mentality is changing. Those whose targets were wrong are the ones who have left. I tell them there is no day off now."
Also, and importantly suggesting that Mancini is very much here for the long term, he states the attraction of City was the opportunity to build a club, to create success rather than go to a club necessarily with a tradition of this; whereby you would simply be continuing on recent successes:
"That is why I liked Manchester City. It is like Sampdoria: if we are successful, we change the history of this club and we change it for life. This is our moment. When people ask why do I come here, I tell them it is because Manchester City never win.
For me, that is the best challenge. Inter Milan were a top team but they had not won the league for a long time; Lazio the same; Fiorentina the same; Sampdoria never win.
These are good challenges because when you work for Real Madrid or Barcelona it is easy; all managers win at those clubs. But if you build a squad, work very hard for months and years at Manchester City and then you win, for me that would be more important. That would be fantastic.
It is an important point that Mancini makes and one often overlooked, particular by those who dismiss signings as being solely money obsessed. I've written on occasion about the burgeoning spirit within the squad this season and the purchases Mancini has made, in addition to the holdovers from the Hughes era that Mancini rates, fit into this profile; young, ambitious and hungry for success. As Mancini says, it is a huge opportunity ahead to arrive at a club and build it into a winner; to leave a lasting legacy.
The article really is an excellent read. Do check it out.