Mancini calm ahead of derby showdown
The heat is on for Manchester City but Roberto Mancini cannot feel any pressure.
City head to Old Trafford tonight knowing if they can avoid defeat in their Carling Cup semi-final decider with United, a first Wembley cup final appearance since 1981 will be theirs.
For Mancini, it would mean Blues immortality barely a month into the job. For City as a whole it would represent a very large millstone being pulled away from their necks.
But Mancini is refusing to get sucked in by the talk.
He has a very clear idea of where City are heading. And he needs to keep a clear head to get them there.
"I don't feel pressure," he said.
"I played football for 20 years and I managed at other clubs.
"I hope it is possible that in the next year we can be among the best five or six clubs in the world.
"But to achieve this we must work. We cannot make mistakes.
"And if I want to change a tactical situation during a game it is important I have a clear head."
Mancini does not want bothering by transfer talk, so Robinho's move to Santos will not be concluded until tomorrow at the earliest, and even then only if City get the Brazilian striker's onerous wages off their list of salaries.
A move to sign Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago is also on hold, although Mancini did admit he will try to do some more shopping before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Instead, Mancini will keep his eyes trained on United, knowing there is more to them than just Wayne Rooney, no matter how highly he rates the England man.
"Rooney is a top player. At this moment he and Carlos Tevez are the best," he said.
"But United do not just have Rooney. They have other good players too; Berbatov, Giggs. For this reason it is important that we stay calm."
Mancini will appeal to his players to keep their heads in what is certain to be an intense atmosphere.
He knows the prize will be worthwhile in the end.
"We must change the history of this club. We want to change the history," declared Mancini, who intends to name Emmanuel Adebayor on the bench and Kolo Toure in his starting line-up if the defender confirms his fitness following an early morning arrival from African Nations Cup duty with the Ivory Coast.
He said: "The players are passionate about it.
"But we must start somewhere and it is important to get to that first final.
"We have two opportunities. After this one we have another in the FA Cup.
"But this one is big chance to get to Wembley because it is a semi-final."
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