Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says if he is sacked every other Premier League manager deserves same fate

City boss hits back at critics who have said FA Cup defeat to Leeds will trigger his exit

Roberto Mancini has argued that if he is sacked then every other Premier League manager deserves to lose his job as well.

There has been growing speculation that should Manchester City lose to Leeds in the FA Cup at the Etihad Stadium tomorrow then the club's owners will remove the man who last May led them to their first championship since 1968.

The former City defender, Danny Mills, described the club, which has fallen a dozen points behind United, as "ready to explode". He said: "I think Mancini will go in the summer if they don't win the league but, if they go out of the FA Cup at this stage, I could see the owners making a decision sooner than that.

"There is a rumbling undercurrent of discontent at City," Mills added. "From the outside, it all looks pretty and serene but underneath there is a bubbling inferno ready to explode."

With his voice heavy with sarcasm, Mancini retorted: "Who are these people [demanding he should go]? They are probably the same players who won so many trophies in their history.

"We started our project three years ago. In those three years we have always been on or near the top, we have fought for the title, we have won three trophies and we have the chance to win more this year.

"All the people who talk about this don't understand football because, if they sack me, the other 19 teams in the Premier League should be without a manager."

The City manager, who counts the Community Shield as a trophy in a way that United's Sir Alex Ferguson does not, argues that men like Mills, whom was released by City when his contract expired in 2009, do not understand the mentality of the club's owners.

Sheikh Mansour and City's chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, are not to be compared with Chelsea's oligarch, Roman Abramovich, when it comes to hiring and firing managers.

"We won the Premier League maybe too quickly," Mancini said. "Usually, it would take four or five years for a team like City to do this. I speak to Khaldoon every week. He is like me. When we lose, he has my mentality; he is upset and disappointed but this is normal in football if you have blood inside you.

"After you have lost you cannot be happy for 24 hours; after that you need to think about the future. At the moment the owners are not happy because we have been losing but I think they have been happy with our job over the last three years. Three or four games can change everything."

Mancini does not accept that City's defence of their title has been killed off with three months of the season remaining. If the champions can halve United's 12-point lead by the time of the derby in April, Mancini believes the title race will still be open.

There are five league games to go until the two sides meet at Old Trafford but Mancini recognises City require a substantial improvement on their two recent performances – barely adequate against Liverpool and abject at Southampton – to make any kind of inroad. "It is important to win, win, win," he said.

Mancini added he did not regret his outburst against named individuals who had capitulated at St Mary's, although he said he had been angrier as a manager than he was last Saturday night.

"I think the players know they didn't do their job at Southampton and sometimes it is important they take responsibility," he said. "It is sometimes better that way.

"I don't think a team of our quality should play like that. Yes, we can lose when our opponents perform better than us but we shouldn't have lost like that. A team like Manchester City should be trying to score, score, score."

It says something for the importance Mancini attaches to the FA Cup that apart from Joe Hart, who will be replaced in goal by Costel Pantilimon, and the injured Gareth Barry, City will be at full strength against Leeds. As a player or manager, Mancini has won 11 domestic cups. A 12th cannot come soon enough.

A model of a Neanderthal man on display at the National Museum of Prehistory in Dordogne, France
Richard Dawkins dedicated his book 'The Greatest Show on Earth' to Josh Timonen
newsThat's Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Dinosaurs Unleashed at the Eden Project
Arts and Entertainment
Life and Style
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the first online sale
techDespite a host of other online auction sites and fierce competition from Amazon, eBay is still the most popular e-commerce site in the UK
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home