Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Barclays Premier League

City better than United - Mancini



Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists his team have shown they are better than United and have plenty of time to make up the six-point deficit to their city rivals.

City suffered a first defeat of the season when they lost a fractious Manchester derby 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium last weekend.

Although they now trail their neighbours by six points, Mancini is taking heart from that fact that his team made up an eight-point deficit over the course of the final six matches of last season to snatch the title on goal difference.

Even though his side were beaten by Robin van Persie's late winner, Mancini believes he saw enough to believe that his team - which won the Premier League last season - is better than Alex Ferguson's side.

He has called on his players to show the same kind of attitude to the Old Trafford club.

But he believes that his team's lack of European football, coupled with United's Champions League commitments, will have an impact in the new year.

Mancini said: "I think that, it's my opinion, we showed that we are better than United.

"They have more experience than us and they don't have any problems when they are behind and they continue to work.

"We should do the same, continue to work hard and we know that it only depends on us. The season is very long and in February when the Champions League starts, everything can change."

The City manager believes that his team face a pivotal month.

They face Newcastle on Saturday before matches against Reading, Sunderland, Norwich and Stoke over the festive period.

Even though Mancini is struggling with a host of injury problems, he feels his team have to show their credentials over the weeks ahead.

He added: "For this reason we have 23 or 24 games until the end and I don't think it's a big problem to recover six points.

"At the moment we took only one point in the last two games and we have some important players injured but we need to be strong in this moment and continue to play like we did against United."

Gareth Barry is suspended for the trip to Newcastle, while James Milner and Jack Rodwell are also likely to miss out.

Captain Vincent Kompany limped out of the early stages of the Manchester derby with a groin problem and Mancini admits the Belgian's chances of featuring are slim.

He said: "We will try but it's difficult. I think there is a two per cent chance."

Mancini has also confirmed that Yaya Toure will play for the Ivory Coast in the African Nations Cup in South Africa in the new year.

City had hoped that the midfielder, 29, would consider pulling out but he is set to depart in early January.

Mancini said: "This is difficult. Yaya will go to the African Cup. I think after the Watford game (on January 5)."

The Italian admits he is frustrated by the stories of dressing room rows that emerged in the wake of the derby.

Mancini, who hauled Mario Balotelli off just after halftime against United, was reported to have upset senior City players with his criticism of goalkeeper Joe Hart's performance.

But he added: "After the game when you asked me if I was happy for Mario's performance I said 'no' and I talked with the players and sometimes you can have discussions.

"But I used to keep it in the dressing room not like other people that talk outside the dressing room. For me it's not like this and we know where this comes from."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...