Roberto Mancini can be Manchester City great - Colin Bell

Colin Bell
Colin Bell made 394 appearances for Manchester City scoring 117 goals

Former Manchester City midfielder Colin Bell believes Roberto Mancini can emulate the success Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison brought to the club.

The 65-year-old won the league, FA Cup, League Cup and European Cup Winners Cup during his time under those managers.

"He's another manager with a magic wand that whatever 11 he turns out the play for him, they perform and they get the result," he told BBC Radio Manchester.

"It's absolutely brilliant and I just hope he stays forever and a day."

Bell joined City from Bury in 1966 for £45,000, and played for the club until 1979 when he was forced to retire due to a serious knee injury.

Recognised as one of their greatest ever players, Bell was so popular at Maine Road that, when the club moved into their new stadium at Eastlands, one of the stands was named The Colin Bell Stand.

The former England midfielder still attends matches and following the huge investment in the squad made by owner Sheikh Mansour, has particularly been enjoying his trips to the Etihad this season.

"I used to think years ago 'is it going to be a draw today?'" added Bell.

"I just think we're going to win at home every game and it's just a matter of how many we're going to win by, and it's down to him [Mancini].

"He certainly knows how the English game works, plus the fact that he's been fiddling with which is his best team for 12 months now, so he knows what to do and what not to do.

"When I'm at Eastlands on a match-day I don't even look at the team sheet as it doesn't even bother me. I know whichever 11 he turns out they're going to perform.

"The start couldn't have been better, absolutely brilliant. I'm expecting at the end of the season there is probably a couple of trophies added to what we've got already."

Colin Bell is 'In the Spotlight' on Thursday, 8 December talking on topics including how writing his autobiography saved his life and how he dealt with the injury that forced him to retire. If you miss the show you can listen again via the iPlayer or download the podcast.