Mancini bullish after defeat

Mancini bullish after defeat

Published Apr. 12, 2011 11:26 a.m. ET

Roberto Mancini insists Manchester City will make the FA Cup final and claim a place in the Champions League despite the thumping at Liverpool.

The 3-0 defeat leaves City in fourth, three points in front of Tottenham having played a game more.

It was the worst preparation for Saturday's Wembley meeting with Manchester United, which skipper Carlos Tevez is almost certain to miss after the South American limped off with a hamstring problem at Anfield.

Yet Mancini retains an unshakeable faith in his players' ability to rise to the stiffest of challenges.


"I am not worried," he said.

"I am sure that we will get to the Champions League and reach the final.

"I am disappointed with myself. This game was all my fault.

"I made mistakes in the last two days. I know why. I can't say any more than that."

Mancini acknowledged arriving at Anfield barely an hour before kick-off was hardly ideal.

However, his words indicated a far deeper problem that he can only hope will be resolved before his team must tackle United at the weekend.

The visitors were completely overwhelmed during the first half-hour, when Andy Carroll bagged his first Liverpool goal, Dirk Kuyt slotted home a second and Tevez made his untimely exit.

Carroll added another before the break but the damage had already been done.

"Liverpool played fantastic in the first 20 minutes," said Mancini. "We didn't play.

"We left a lot of space for them. They were very aggressive at the start of the game and we played very soft.

"Probably we thought if we don't play this game at 100%, we can still play a good game. But football is not like that."

Mancini's medical staff will attempt to patch Tevez up but it already seems like a lost cause.

It just puts more pressure on Mario Balotelli, who replaced the Argentinian but was then substituted himself after a dismal contribution, and Edin Dzeko, who is yet to score a Premier League goal for his new club after a £27million move from Wolfsburg during the January transfer window.

"Carlos has a hamstring (injury). I don't think that he will play on Saturday," said Mancini.

"We will try but I think it is very difficult because we also have to think about the other six games."