This is our moment, says Mancini

BY foxsports • April 15, 2011

Under Mancini, Manchester City had started to develop a reputation for being solid defensively but, if anything, rather limited going forward. Yet, since a dull goalless draw at Arsenal in January, City's 20 games have yielded 58 goals, with one team hitting three on nine occasions. It suggests the FA Cup semi-final, which Mancini claims can help set his side on a new path, is going to produce entertaining fare. But, if the Italian had his way, defences would be on top, or at least City's. And even though his rivals are without Wayne Rooney, he has no intention of offering Manchester United an easy route to goal. "Every City fan will be happy if we win," said Mancini. "If we do that 1-0, it is not important. If we win on penalties it is not important. But if we attack and leave United to have 10 chances, it is stupid. "All my players should understand very well this is a big moment for us," said Mancini. "We can change the history of the club." When your team has won nothing in 35 years, any trophy is acceptable, no matter how it is collected. And with Saturday's winners certain to head to the final as heavy favourites, Mancini wants to ensure his players know what is at stake. "The first trophy is the hardest but it is time for Manchester City to win something," he admitted. They will have to get over the next hurdle without their talisman, though, as skipper Carlos Tevez has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. "It is very difficult for him and us, that we should play this game without him," said Mancini. "But we could not take a risk. We can still do a good job without him. "We have other players and I trust all of them." That includes firebrand Mario Balotelli, who will be required to assume additional responsibility in Tevez's absence. "He knows it is an important game for him," said Mancini. "If his focus is on the game, he can do everything." City have received some good news with the return of full-back Micah Richards to training. Only three weeks since he pulled a hamstring on England Under-21 duty, Mancini accepts the young full-back cannot be 100%. But Richards is fit enough to make a positive contribution, which will help to shore up a leaky defence that struggled so badly at Liverpool on Monday. "Micah is not fully fit but this is normal," said Mancini. "But he is an important player for us and has trained well this week - he can play a good game."


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