West Brom v Man City reaction

City saw their two-point lead at the top of the Premier League

wiped out as they were kept scoreless – for the first time this

season – at The Hawthorns. Mancini’s men could now begin 2012 in

second place as title rivals Manchester United are in action before

City play at Sunderland on New Year’s Day. The trip to the Stadium

of Light comes at the start of a hectic month for City, with the

first of three games against Liverpool coming two days later and an

FA Cup tie with United also to follow. Mancini said: “I’m

disappointed only because we play January 1 and January 3, and

Liverpool play December 29 and the third against us. “I’m not happy

with this situation because two days in this moment is not correct.

“I don’t know why this is – well maybe, it’s for TV. “To play twice

in 48 hours will make a difference in this moment but we have good

concentration and in January that is important. “I think United

will win the next game and it’s more difficult for us against

Sunderland away and then within 48 hours again. “But I’m confident

we can do a good job by the end. It’s important to stay in with a

chance of the title at the end. “If you want to win the title, we

have to try to play well against United. United have a strong team

but we are strong enough to do this.” City lacked their usual bite

but were unlucky as Mario Balotelli hit the bar from distance and

had a goal ruled out for offside. The Italian also had a free-kick

deflected wide while David Silva side-footed a good chance over.

Yet West Brom thoroughly deserved a point and had good chances

themselves with Jerome Thomas hitting the post, Chris Brunt

shooting wide and Paul Scharner testing Joe Hart. Mancini said:

“Sometimes you don’t win. We know that it’s impossible to stay top

for all 38 games. “Every team has a plan but if we don’t score in

the first half it’s difficult. “We will probably have another eight

or nine games in next 20 days like this. “West Bromwich played with

all their players around the ball and you have to find a solution

if you don’t score quickly in the first half.” West Brom head coach

Roy Hodgson was proud of the effort of his players, which backed up

an impressive victory at Newcastle. Hodgson said: “We have got to

be pleased with that, we knew the magnitude of the task. We had to

be at our best to try to keep them at bay. “It was a very

disciplined, hard-working performance defensively. “It was one of

those games when we deserved the point we got and we got it by

playing in the right manner. “We don’t stop many sides scoring – we

are not a great clean-sheet team – so it was great to do it against

a side of Man City’s calibre. “It’s a bit concerning when you’re

the opposing manager watching the likes of (Edin) Dzeko and (Adam)

Johnson coming on, when already you are dealing with (Sergio)

Aguero and Balotelli. “You think you are doing okay then someone

else comes on to cause you different problems. “I thought in the

first half we could have done better and in the second half we

started to do better. “Maybe had the game gone on longer, we seemed

to be growing in confidence, we might have done even better.”