Mancini doesn't believe he should be under pressure

Mancini: "People who talk about this don't understand football"

Mancini: "People who talk about this don't understand football"


SOCCER:Roberto Mancini has staunchly defended his position, claiming that, if Manchester City should sack him, then every other Premier League club should also lose their manager.

City, who host Leeds United tomorrow in the FA Cup fifth round, are 12 points behind Manchester United with 12 games remaining. Yet despite this margin Mancini believes City can still win the league and that his position should not be under scrutiny.

“We started our project three years ago,” he said. “In three years we are always at the top. We fight for the title, we have won three trophies and we have the chance to win more this year. All the people who talk about this don’t understand football. Because if Manchester City should sack me, the other teams in the Premier League should be without a manager.”

Mancini sarcastically laughed off suggestions that some former City players believe he should be sacked if the club are knocked out of the FA Cup this weekend. Former City defender Danny Mills said Mancini could be removed early next week and a successor appointed by Thursday if Leeds pull off a shock win.

“Probably they are players that won a lot of trophies in the history [of the club],” said Mancini.

Heightened expectation

Mancini believes last season’s championship, the club’s first in 44 years, achieved in his second full season in charge, has heightened expectation unrealistically. “We won the Premier League maybe too quickly because usually it is four or five years for a team like City to do this,” he said.

The Italian said he and the club’s hierarchy continue to plan for the future, with Mancini and the chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, engaged in regular discussions. “I speak with Khaldoon every week,” he said. “He is like me. When we lose he has my mentality, he is upset but this is normal. We have a good relationship.”

Mancini denied the title race is over. “I don’t think like this,” he said. “I have another mentality. I always think we can win everything. We have 12 games.

“I think that it is a difficult moment because we lost seven points in three games but in football sometimes it is strange. When you think it is finished, three or four games can change everything.

“We play the derby in [early] April and from now until then we have six games – we need to look at what happens in the next six games. If we reduce the gap before the derby . . . But it’s not important to look at the table, it’s important to win.”

Regarding how City may line up against Leeds, Mancini added: “We play with the best team. I will do some changes because I have two or three players injured but after that I will play with the best team.”

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