Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mancini out to Show He Is Up for the Cup ; Blues Boss Planning to Play Strong Side as He Bids to Land More Silverware

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Mancini out to Show He Is Up for the Cup ; Blues Boss Planning to Play Strong Side as He Bids to Land More Silverware

Article excerpt

ROBERTO Mancini has promised to field his strongest team against Leeds in the FA Cup tomorrow as he seeks a response to the deflating defeat to Southampton.

City head into the FA Cup fifth round clash at the Etihad Stadium 12 points adrift in the Premier League title race and without a win in their last three games.

Mancini has Matija Nastasic and Carlos Tevez available after they missed the defeat at St Mary's, but Gareth Barry and captain Vincent Kompany are likely to miss out through injury.

"We will play with the best team," said Mancini. "I will do some changes because I have two or three players injured but after that, I will play with the best team.

"We will try but I don't think we will have Gareth and we don't take any risks with Vinny. We recover Matija and Carlos is back.

"Regarding Carlos, I hope he can score important goals in the last three months. The problem we had until now is we score less goals than last year. This is the gap at the moment."

Mancini also revealed his intention to rest goalkeeper Joe Hart in favour of No.2 Costel Pantilimon - but the City manager was quick to dismiss an enquiry at his press conference yesterday that the England keeper was being left out as punishment for his mistake at St Mary's a week ago.

"I will play Costel like always in the FA Cup," said Mancini. "Costel is a good keeper, he deserves to play, he always does in the FA Cup and he did well against Stoke.

"For a keeper it's normal sometimes to make a mistake but if the keeper makes a mistake you lose a game and if the striker doesn't score a goal, maybe you can draw 0-0, but their job is difficult because of this."

Mancini reacted angrily to last weekend's defeat to Southampton, branding it the worst performance he'd seen in his three years at the Etihad Stadium.

He cut a much calmer figure at Carrington yesterday but revealed he was expecting his players to put things right against Leeds tomorrow. …

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