Mancini defends his tactics

City were widely criticised for their performance in their 0-0 draw
at home to Birmingham last weekend, but Mancini felt that game
could have ended up the same as this one. “I don’t think there is a
lot of difference, because when we played Birmingham they had 10
men behind the ball,” he said. “In football, if you score one, the
result can change and you can score two or three. “Teams playing at
home play to win, that is the difference. It is difficult to win
here, Fulham are strong at home. “I think we did a fantastic
performance, the guys were fantastic because we played very well.”
Gareth Barry hailed the performance as their best of the season.
“Especially in the first half, it was the best we’ve played,” he
told Sky Sports 1. “It was a good chance to make an impression and
move up the league.” A number of the City players made a point of
going over to Hughes prior to the kick-off, and Barry admitted that
a respect still existed for him. “The players that Mark brought
here, maybe there’s five or six of us, have respect and we showed
it, but once the game started it was all about City and the three
points.” Hughes admitted his side had failed to perform, especially
in the first half. He said: “Man City were excellent in the first
half, probably the best I’ve seen them play this season. In
fairness, we allowed it to happen, we were too passive. “We needed
to close down quicker than we did. We lost a bit of belief after
the first goal. The one thing you don’t want to do is concede
early. We needed to be more aggressive. “I know the (Man City) guys
and their quality. They played exceptionally well. Credit to them
and Roberto.”