Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Friday February 11 2011
Roberto Mancini's derby presser saw the City boss in relaxed, philosophical and composed mood today...
The dapper City gaffer played a straight bat to the assembled hacks throughout yet some of the exchanges were indeed humorous:
'It's a derby, a big game in Manchester when the top of the table plays the third in the table, but not the most important this season...
'I like to play these games. I'd like to win at Old Trafford. It is better to win there than at home...better for our heads and our personalities.
'As I said last week every game is difficult. Nobody would have thought that United would have lost at Wolves. And now The Europa League and Champions League starts again. Every week, everything can change.
'It's clear that for us, if we win, it would be important, but I think it will be a difficult game.
'I think we are a good team and we have improved a lot in six months. Maybe United has more of a winning mentality than us becuase they have been unbeaten for a long time, but only this is the difference...when we start to win trophies then that can change. I think it is very important for us to win something at the end of the season.'
Mancio was quizzed about the rags injury concerns but shrewdly fended that off by saying:
'I think that United has a fantastic player in every position. I don't think Ferdinand missing changes anything.'
On the injury front Mancio confirmed:
'Mario Balotelli is not 100% fit. He's worked with the physio's for two weeks but this afternoon after training, we decided...maybe, the bench. Maybe he needs another week. Nigel De Jong is also not 100%...he is a very important player for us. I hope he can recover for tomorrow. Micah Richards is fit.'
Quizzed as to whether or not he would field an attacking line up, Mancio concluded:
'We always play to win. We beat Liverpool 3-0 with Carlos alone up front. What is important is that the team has balance and does not give United any space.'
VMC citytv link: Click Here For Mancini Press Conference
DERBY DAY ON VMC:
Head for the VMC Match Day Experience Forum for the build up and beyond to the biggest game of the season so far against the rags at the swamp. Join us as we brace ourselves for another wave of the traditional horrible smugness that only rags can serve up with such toe curling aplomb.
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Date:Friday February 11 2011
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