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Page last updated at 20:48 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 21:48 UK

Man City 'will upset Euro elite'

Man City paid a British record fee for Robinho

Manchester City assistant boss Mark Bowen believes the club's mega-rich new owners will change the face of European football as well as the domestic game.

The Abu Dhabi United Group's ambitious plans for City have already seen them sign Robinho for 32.5m.

"The owners are going to challenge the top teams not just in this country but in Europe over the next few years," Bowen told BBC Radio 5 Live.

"I'm sure we will get up a few people's noses over the next 18 months."

Bowen also warned that the changes at the club might mean fewer of City's promising youth team players make the transition to the first team.

City have established a strong reputation for developing their own players in recent years, with academy products Shaun Wright-Phillips, Micah Richards, Michael Johnson and Stephen Ireland all featuring in last weekend's 3-0 away win over Sunderland.

"It will be a natural progression over the next year or so with a number of players coming in," added Bowen.

"There will be an aspiration for the players but others will fall by the wayside - but that's the way it's been at Chelsea and Manchester United over the years.

"We want to give the players stiff competition for their places and if you have got real quality throughout the club that can only be for the benefit of the team.

"We have got some tremendously talented youngsters. Yes, of course the bar has been raised, of course they are going to find it harder to break into the team in the long run.

"But they will be watching and working with the best players in the world on a day-to-day basis.

"If someone had said to me City's youngsters have to take a back seat and it's going to be detrimental to them... it's a natural progression.

"If you are going to be challenging for the Champions League and wanting to push for the Premier League, I'm afraid it's the way it goes."

see also
Robinho aims for title with City
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
Arabian might at Eastlands
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man City set sights on trophies
02 Sep 08 |  Man City
Man City beat Chelsea to Robinho
01 Sep 08 |  Man City
Arab group agrees Man City deal
01 Sep 08 |  Man City
Sunderland 0-3 Man City
31 Aug 08 |  Premier League

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