Mancini: Owners unhappy at title defence
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini accepts the club's owners are not happy with the champions' faltering Barclays Premier League title defence.
But the Italian does not fear for his job and expects his players to respond to last weekend's damaging loss at Southampton and keep fighting to retain the crown. Rivals Manchester United now lead City by 12 points at the top of the table and, with just 12 games remaining, the FA Cup appears to be Mancini's most realistic route to silverware.
But Mancini, who regularly speaks to chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, feels he and the club's hierarchy are looking forward confidently. The 48-year-old said: "I speak with Khaldoon every week. He is like me. When we lose he has my mentality, he is upset and disappointed but this is normal and it's correct in football."
The Italian went on: "After you lose you can't be happy for 24 hours but after that you need to think about the future. We have a good relationship. At this moment they aren't happy because when you lose you can't be happy but I think they are happy with our job over the three years."
Mancini reacted angrily to his side's performance at Southampton and was heavily critical of the players. He now expects a reaction as Leeds visit.
He said: "I think that the players know they didn't do their job at Southampton and sometimes it is important they take the responsibility. I think that we have some players that can do better than this year but I am sure I have a good team and at the end of it we will win something.
"It will be different because it's the FA Cup but it won't change for us because results are always important and there is always pressure. The players will respond, I'm sure about this."
As for the title race, Mancini claims it is not in his nature to concede defeat. He believes that if the deficit can be cut before City travel to Old Trafford on April 8, further league success remains possible.
Mancini said: "I think that is a difficult moment because we lost seven points in three games but in football sometimes it is strange. When you think it is finished, three or four games can change everything. While we have the points available to win, we should believe in ourselves.
"We play the derby in April and from now until then we have six games and we need to look at what happens in the next six games. If we reduce the gap before the derby... but it's not important to look at the table. It's important to win, win, win."