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Mancini: We won't bottle it


Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini is convinced Manchester City will not bottle their Premier League title challenge.

City head to Newcastle on Sunday for their penultimate game, leading Manchester United on goal difference. Yet they could hardly be facing a trickier task, coming up against the league's in-form team and their brilliant 13-goal striker Papiss Cisse.

However, Mancini is certain. If City's first championship since 1968 is not secured, it will not be because they choked, and he said: "That won't happen. It happened six weeks ago. I don't know why. Probably because we had some important players injured. But it won't happen now. We can lose because in football you can lose every game. But I am sure we will play a good game."

City are presently the Premier League's top scorers. They also have the meanest defence and have done the double over United for only the second time in 42 years.

By any rational assessment, they have been the best team this season.

So far though, it means nothing.

And, just as he would doubtless shake his head at those City fans who claim they would be happy to win nothing else as long as this season's title was secure, Mancini is deriving little pleasure from what his players have done thus far.

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"We are the best team in Manchester. To be the best in the country we need to win the next two games," he said with a smile.

"It is not important to beat United twice or beat Chelsea. The only important thing is to win the championship at the end."

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