Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Saturday March 12 2011
Roberto Mancini has had 48 hours to rally his side for Reading in The FA Cup following Euro defeat and a long flight from Kyiv. But the City boss is well up for the cup...
The rags have stumbled to another cup win today leaving Arsenal's stylish passers with one wheel on their wagon.
It's looking increasingly likely that if City can negotiate Reading, then for a second year running Stretford will stand between The Citizens and the very real chance of craved for silverware.
Mancio will be mindful of Arsenal's shocking collapse inside a fortnight. We don't want a repeat at Eastlands:
'The FA Cup offers us a big chance. We know how long it's been since the last semi-final so this would be good for us, good for the club and the fans. It's a big week coming up in all three competitions. The Europa League is going to be hard for us but we still have a chance. The next few days will be important.'
Nigel De Jong is likely to take centre stage in the bid to shore up City's midfield. This means that outside of Adam Johnson who is going great guns in his efforts to return from serious injury, the dapper City gaffer will have a close to full strength squad to select from:
'The FA Cup is really important to us. It's a really big chance for us to get to Wembley. It's a really difficult tie, though, because Reading have shown what they are capable of by beating Everton. One of the difficulties we have at the moment is that we are playing every three days. I hope we can recover in time for Sunday afternoon.'
This is going to be a massive seven days for Manchester City. Crucially Reading, Dynamo Kyiv and Chelsea span three competitions and Planet Blue will be desperate to emerge the other side of the trilogy knowing that all the hard work put in up until now has not been in vain.
Mancio has called on City's fans to back the team to the hilt and raise the roof:
'We need them now more than ever.'
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Head for the VMC Match Day Experience Forum for the build up and beyond to City's important clash with Reading that could lead to the Blues first FA Cup Semi Final in 30 years.
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Date:Saturday March 12 2011
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