Roberto Mancini ready to make sweeping changes for FA Cup tie against Leeds
Manchester City fell to a shock defeat against Southampton at the weekend
Monday 11 February 2013
Roberto Mancini is ready to wield the axe on his Manchester City squad and has warned his players he will only pick those who are ready to fight every inch of the way for the rest of the season.
Mancini was furious at the limp manner of City's 3-1 defeat at Southampton at the weekend which now leaves the reigning champions 12 points behind leaders Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League with 12 games left.
Mancini said he will make significant changes for the FA Cup fifth-round visit of Leeds on Sunday.
He told the Manchester Evening News: "I am sure we will change that, because I will change players next week.
"I only want players who are ready for the fight in the last 12 games.
"I am very angry with a lot of my players, and very disappointed at the performance, because it is impossible to play the way we did.
"We didn't fight for every ball. We can't always win by playing well - that is normal. Sometimes we play well and win, but you also need to be able to win because you fight for every ball, and fight against an opponent who also wants to win the game.
"Every team that plays against us treats it like a Champions League final, but we should know this, it is normal.
"We now have 12 games left, (we) need to do well in the Premier League, and we have the FA Cup - there are games left and we can do better. We need to finish the season the way we did last year."
Carlos Tevez is expected to return to City this week after a family problem, and Vincent Kompany should also be available again, as will Matija Nastasic and Kolo Toure who were not risked after late returns from international duty.
Mancini branded the fixture demands caused by the international fixtures "ridiculous" but did not hold his defenders - including midfielder Javi Garcia in a makeshift centre-back role - responsible for the Southampton defeat.
He added: "The fixtures are ridiculous sometimes, as we played on Saturday and then had six players who came back on Friday, and five who came back Thursday night.
"Sometimes it is impossible.
"Nastasic came back Friday and Kolo came back three or four days ago - plus the last time Javi Garcia played there, he played really, really well.
"On Saturday we played well in defence, but the problem was that we didn't give the defenders any help. They were left to play alone, and we conceded two goals the like of which I have never seen in my life."
Latest in Sport
Liverpool injury news: Brendan Rodgers could be without up to seven players for Burnley game... as Jordon Ibe posts picture of knee brace
Pornhub: Cheeky Liverpool fan uploads Philippe Coutinho wonder-goal video to adult website
Watch the moment a basketball player reassures a small boy after a mass brawl erupted on court
Jon Stewart brings The Daily Show to WWE Raw as Seth Rollins pays the price for feud with TV presenter
Manuel Pellegrini future: Why Manchester City could turn to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers if Pellegrini is dismissed
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'