1. ITV Report

Mancini: 'Title impossible"

Roberto Mancini Photo: PA

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has laughed off suggestions his team could still win the title by claiming they would need points from FA Cup games.

City still trail Manchester United by 12 points at the top of the Barclays Premier League even after winning at Old Trafford on Monday night.

With just seven games remaining only the most optimistic of City supporters would believe the deficit can be overturned and most are instead looking forward to Sunday's FA Cup semi-final against Chelsea.

Mancini said: "If United lose against Stoke and we win against Chelsea in the FA Cup and win against Wigan [in the league next Wednesday] - six points, it could be possible.

"But we need to have three points for the FA Cup!

"It is impossible. They did better than us, they deserve to win."

Mancini conceded defeat to United after a damaging loss at Everton last month and Monday's deserved 2-1 success has not changed his mind.

But the Italian feels the current gap is not a fair reflection of the difference between the sides and he is keen to reduce it to a more appropriate figure.

He said: "The championship is not important, it is finished, but it is important we showed we are like them.

"Twelve points is too much. We hope to get closer. We have seven games, so we hope."

Mancini is now focused on this weekend's trip to Wembley as he bids to win a second FA Cup in three seasons.

His prime fitness concern is playmaker David Silva, who suffered a hamstring injury in the closing stages against United.

Mancini initially thought the 27-year-old highly doubtful to play but there has been improvement in his condition since and he will be assessed on the morning of the game.

Mancini said: "We will decide, I think, on Sunday morning.

"We don't know if it is possible and if there is a risk he will not play, but if there is not then maybe.

"He is getting better. Yesterday he ran, so I think we have a chance.

"I don't think he can play 100 per cent but it is important he is very close."

Mancini is also still to determine whether star striker Sergio Aguero will be able to start.

The Argentinian came off the bench to score a superb winner against United but is still to recover full fitness after a recent lay-off with a knee injury.

Mancini said: "I am happy because he had a good impact in the game on Monday night and it is important he didn't have any problems in his knee.

"Probably he is not 100 per cent but Sergio for us at 80 per cent is important."

Otherwise, aside from the long-term concerns over Micah Richards, Maicon and Jack Rodwell, Mancini has a strong squad with all of his key players available.

Mancini feels the absences of Aguero, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure at various times have badly undermined the title challenge.

He said: "I was frustrated when I didn't have these players because there were some moments when we were losing Sergio, Yaya, Vinny. These players were really important for us.

"Now I am happy because we have a chance to go to the final and it is important to get all the players ready."

City have had the edge over Chelsea in their meetings this season, drawing 0-0 at Stamford Bridge last November and winning the return at the Etihad Stadium 2-0 in February.

They also won 3-2 in the Community Shield at Villa Park at the start of the season.

City may also be the fresher of the two teams with the London side having been in action against Rubin Kazan in Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday.

But Mancini said: "It will be different from the other games we played against Chelsea.

"It is more difficult, they are in a good moment and they want to play in the final like us.

"Last night they played with three or four players that will probably play against us. They rested five or six players."

The 2011 cup success brought City a first trophy in 35 years and gave the club tangible reward for the investment and rapid strides made after their 2008 takeover.

The competition holds happy memories for Mancini and he feels it is vital to continue winning silverware.

He said: "Every trophy is important for every team. For us, more [so].

"We want to try to go to the final to win the second FA Cup in three years."

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