Roberto Mancini admits that his Manchester City side have to discover some cutting edge after seeing them extend their uninspiring start to one win in four Premier League matches.
City drew at Tottenham on the opening day and beat Liverpool 3-0 but lost 1-0 at Sunderland before the international break and drew 1-1 with Blackburn at Eastlands on Saturday.
After seeing his side manage just one goal against Sunderland and Blackburn, the Italian coach accepts that his players have to discover a way through teams that are set up to chase a draw.
Nikola Kalinic gave Rovers the lead at Eastlands thanks to an error from Joe Hart before Patrick Vieira rescued a point.
Mancini’s side are expected to challenge for the title this season and he insists he is fully-aware of where his team’s problems lie.
“I think that we found they played with all players behind the ball. Blackburn came here to play against us only for a draw and we must improve on this, we must find a solution when we play against these teams. At Sunderland it was the same,” Mancini lamented.
“It was so so because at this moment we are very unlucky because we are missing a lot of important players through injury and we conceded a strange goal and after we had 25 chances to score.
“We must accept this result and continue to work.”
Kalinic scored after Hart raced out of his goal and told Kolo Toure he would clear, only to miss the ball and allow the Croatian an easy finish.
But Mancini insists he still has full faith in his goalkeeper, who is now established as England’s first choice.
“This is a fluke, it can happen in football but I hope after today we finish making gifts to the opponent. It can happen. Joe Hart is a good goalkeeper,” Mancini stressed.
Tevez produced a dreadful miss in the 1-0 defeat at Sunderland and also struggled against Blackburn after returning from Argentina duty with an ankle problem.
But Mancini was grateful for the striker’s contribution.
“It was difficult for him because he arrived two days ago from Argentina with a problem with his ankle,” the Italian said.
“We tried him in the game because we thought that he could play and he played a good match.”
Sam Allardyce played down concerns over Ryan Nelsen after the New Zealander was forced off in the first half at Eastlands. Allardyce also lost Michel Salgado to injury.
“Nelsen was stamped on the top of his foot but it wasn’t intentional. Salgado has a thigh strain. Overcoming that situation, changing 50 per cent of the back four coming to an away game is not easy so you have to give the lads credit for how they played,” he said.
Allardyce was limited in the transfer market once again this summer but feels his side’s character means they can give the likes of City a tough time.
“There is an immense difference between both clubs but we’ve measured up to a team that should have brushed us aside in terms of the quality they can afford and the wages they can pay and the limited budget that we work on.
“Always good organised, fit, team spirit, hard-working side with good ability in the right areas can always cause an upset and for Manchester City it was an upset but a well-deserved result for us,” he said.
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