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Mancini credits FA Cup defeat for turnaround

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes his side’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United now ranks them as the best team in the city.

But Mancini says they must now back that up by seeing off the Red Devils’ threat and sealing a first Premier League crown.

The Italian boss also believes that January’s FA Cup defeat to their neighbours gave his side more confidence against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side than their 6-1 victory at Old Trafford earlier in the season.

“We are the best team in Manchester probably. To be the best in the country we have to win the next two games,” Mancini said.

“It’s not important to beat United twice or beat Chelsea (as City have this season), it’s only important to win a championship in the end.

“The FA Cup was really important when we lost 3-2 at home in January, not when we won 6-1 (in October’s derby), that game was easy. When we lost 3-2 with 10 players after 10 minutes, we recovered the game and had a chance to score a third goal.

“United didn’t have a shot in the second half with 11 players. I think that game was important in changing our mentality against them.”

Mancini is aware of the task that his men face at Newcastle this weekend as they look to close in on the title and is happy with a City defence that has conceded just once in the last four games.

“Sunday will be really difficult because of the crowd and Newcastle are a good team,” he said of their opponents, who won 2-0 at Chelsea on Wednesday.

“Our approach to the game, preparation this week and mentality will be very important. I think Sunday will probably be a key game.

“If we concede only one goal, it’s not only because Joleon (Lescott) and Vinny (Vincent Kompany) played well or they are in good form.

“All the team worked well in the defensive phase. If not, it’s difficult. If you only work with your defenders, it’s impossible not to concede a goal. All the team defend well when we need to.”

Sat 5 May, 2012
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