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Mancini staying positive

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is refusing to panic despite falling four points behind Manchester United in the Premier League title race.

Mancini meets the press

United thrashed Wolves 5-0 at Molineux on Sunday to open up the gap, with City facing a tough meeting with Chelsea at Eastlands on Wednesday as their game in hand.

The bookmakers now make United favourites to lift a 20th league title, and most pundits believe their experience of a pressurised run-in will prove crucial. But Mancini rejects that, despite last week's exit from the Europa League at the hands of Sporting Lisbon.

He said: "We will win the title, we will win. We will do everything to win the title. We need to think positive always. Until now we have had a fantastic Premier League, we need to continue like this. We play one game a week, we can have more concentration about this.

"We lost top place in the Premier League at Swansea, but this is not the end of the title race as some people are saying. Now it is very important we are very comfortable together as a squad and as a club. We must regroup and find our best form and the fans will play their part against Chelsea.

"There is no need for anyone to panic. Of course, it is better to stay at the top, but now we are behind, it doesn't change our target.

"Now we have to show we are strong physically and ready for the challenge. This is a test for our players. It has been a difficult few days in terms of getting results and some injuries to important players, but we all know football is like this.

"The season is long and what happened recently can happen to any team. Against Sporting Lisbon and Swansea, we missed three or four chances on the counter-attack. This is the problem at the moment and then we have conceded what from our point of view have been stupid goals.

"Every game is difficult and different. We try to play good football and sometimes we can, and sometimes we can't. Football is like this. Sometimes you lose when you deserve to win and sometimes you win when you are not the best team.

"It is an unpredictable season, but we know the season still has a long way to go and that we can still win a trophy.

"We have another ten games to finish this championship and that is a lot of points. That is nearly 25% of the season. The season is long and every week the situation could change.

"We will fight hard, and together, right until the end, to give ourselves the chance to win the title."

Mancini has again confirmed striker Carlos Tevez is pressing for a place on the bench against Chelsea. Tevez has not played for the club since his fall-out with officials over his refusal to warm up against Bayern Munich last year.

Asked if Tevez was in the frame for a place on the bench against Chelsea, Mancini said: "He is getting better but I don't think Carlo can have more than 25-30 minutes. A player like Carlo needs to play but for 90 minutes it is impossible.

"But if he can play 30 minutes, after 45, then in three or four games he could have 90 minutes, easily. Tomorrow we will decide. We want to know the situation with the players.''


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