In the aftermath of City’s shambolic defeat against Southampton on Saturday, Roberto Mancini has spoken at length about the defeat and how he intends to change City’s fortunes. He said:
I am sure we will change that, because I will change players next week. I only want players who are ready for the fight in the last 12 games. I am very angry with a lot of my players, and very disappointed at the performance, because it is impossible to play the way we did.
We didn’t fight for every ball. We can’t always win by playing well – that is normal. Sometimes we play well and win, but you also need to be able to win because you fight for every ball, and fight against an opponent who also wants to win the game. Every team that plays against us treats it like a Champions League final, but we should know this, it is normal.
We now have 12 games left, need to do well in the Premier League, and we have the FA Cup – there are games left and we can do better. We need to finish the season the way we did last year.
Mancini also lamented the midweek international break which he feels affected the team:
Nastasic came back Friday and Kolo came back three or four days ago – plus the last time Garcia played there, he played really, really well. On Saturday we played well in defence, but the problem was that we didn’t give the defenders any help. They were left to play alone, and we conceded two goals the like of which I have never seen in my life.
But it is normal to have so many players away. The fixtures are ridiculous sometimes, as we played on Saturday and then had six players who came back on Friday, and five who came back Thursday night. Sometimes it is impossible.
We tried to change things with two full-backs pushing on, and with Yaya behind the strikers. We had two or three chances but when we arrived there, we didn’t score, and that is the problem. If you don’t score, you can’t win. It’s not enough to score one goal. We need to work hard, for each other. I could do nothing. I had no strikers on the bench, but I still thought at half-time we could recover. But then we conceded after five minutes, to a goal like that, and it was over.
We didn’t play well, and the gap is too much, especially as we are not playing well, have conceded five goals in two games, and can’t score. We need to change more, and have 11 players working on the pitch, not like Saturday, and not like (against) Liverpool. Now it is really, really difficult. The gap is too much. After Saturday, right at this moment, I am really disappointed. For me, it is not like being an Englishman, who stays calm – I am really angry about this and over the next few days I need to think about what I did, what mistakes I made in the game. After that I will take decision.