Clayton questions City complaints

BY foxsports • January 19, 2012

As the Premier League approaches a key weekend, with City entertaining third-placed Tottenham and Manchester United heading to Arsenal, Blackmore has been amused by Roberto Mancini's complaints about the need for more players.

City are without Yaya and Kolo Toure for another month due to their African Nations Cup commitments and Vincent Kompany is in the middle of a four-game suspension.

Apart from that though, the Blues have only had two injuries to contend with, one of which, to David Silva, had cleared up sufficiently for the Spain star to be involved in Monday night's win at Wigan.

Blackmore cannot help comparing that situation to United, where Nemanja Vidic has been ruled out for the season and Darren Fletcher is not expected back before the end of the campaign either.

In addition, Tom Cleverley, Michael Owen and twins Fabio and Rafael were all sidelined for extended periods, quite apart from the normal minor ailments any team gets.

That Ferguson was forced to name Michael Carrick in central defence and Park Ji-sung in central midfield for the shock New Year's Eve defeat to Blackburn emphasises the point.

"People keep having a go at our squad but we are three points off City even though we have had nearly every player out this season," said the former Wales star.

"When you consider we lost so many players to retirement at the end of last season, people are being unfair and not really thinking about what they are saying.

"If you take five or six players out of the City team, they will start crumbling big style.

"They have only lost a couple of players and already the cracks are showing."

Blackmore was speaking at the launch of the 2012 Big Red Bike Ride, a 592-mile charity trek around Ireland organised by the Manchester United Foundation.

Along with Denis Irwin, Brian McClair and David May, who intends to complete the entire trip, Blackmore will be part of a tour that runs from June 9 to June 16.

"The scenery should be good and hopefully there will not be too many hills," said Blackmore.

"The last place I went cycling was Alderley Edge. It was the wrong place. I did 40 miles and it was three days before I could walk. And that was on a comfortable seat."

It is not that much more comfortable for United at the moment as they try to claw those three points back on City.

And Blackmore accepts the Red Devils could do without falling any further back this weekend.

"The worst scenario is for us to lose and City to win against Tottenham," he said.

"Then they pull away a little bit and the job becomes a little bit harder.

"But everybody knows there will be points dropped by both teams, and Spurs as well.

"The next month or two is big though.

"If United are still up there, three points behind or so, they have a very good chance.

"But the next month or two, with the weather and the start of the European games again is going to be vital.

"Manchester City still have a Carling Cup game against Liverpool next week, which won't be easy, although they are out of the FA Cup, so that is one less competition, which will help them in the league."


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