1. ITV Report

Mancini ignoring the critics

Roberto Mancini. Photo: Picture by: David Davies/PA Archive/Press Association Images

By Simon Stone

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini does not care what the critics say.

The Blues tackle Swansea at the Etihad Stadium this evening looking to bounce back after their midweek Champions League defeat in Amsterdam.

As usual at City, the unexpected reverse had been followed by another round of blood-letting, including claims that certain players do not understand Mancini's tactics.

Rather than try to plug the leaks, as has happened elsewhere, Mancini's response is simple. He ignores them.

"I am not frustrated about what people say," he said. "It is not a problem for me. I am not interested.

"I have my own opinion about everything. Sometimes I make mistakes, like the players, like the owner, like everyone.

"But I work hard every day and when you work seriously you don't have any problem about your job.

"You think we can go down after one defeat? I don't think so. We are strong enough for this."

The chief bone of contention has been Mancini's use of a three-man defence.

Micah Richards openly admitted on Wednesday the City players were struggling to get their heads round it.

Joleon Lescott was certainly unimpressed judging by his mood as he made his way off after being substituted midway through the second half, with City already trailing.

Mancini is having none of it, pointing out that he has used it countless times in the past and most of the time it had proved to be successful.

This season though, there is a different problem to be taken into account; their previously watertight defence cannot stop leaking goals.

They have now conceded 22 times in 13 games in all competitions, eight fewer than the time it took last term.

City have a single clean sheet to their name, compared to five at the same stage 12 months ago.

So, whilst Mancini is refusing to get too down about the situation, evidently he sees problems that need to be solved.

"At this moment we don't have a best defence," he said.

"For two years we were the best defence in the Premier League. At this moment no.

"We are not playing very well with the defenders. We need to work hard and we need to improve."

More on this story