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
Luckless Abou Diaby full of confidence as he attempts yet another Arsenal comeback
Arturo Vidal: Midfielder must ask to join Manchester United, say Juventus
Scottie dogs in Commonwealth Games opening ceremony 'disrespectful to Muslims', say Malaysian politicians
Calum Chambers joins Arsenal: Gunners complete £16m transfer of right-back
Manchester United latest: Angel Di Maria move no closer as Juan Mata emerges as Louis van Gaal's favoured No 10 as prospect of signing
- 1 Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
- 2 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 3 Is Ebola coming to Britain? UK health officials issue warning to doctors as outbreak fears grow
- 4 Richard Dawkins says 'date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse' on Twitter
- 5 Danish TV reporter is all business up top, all party down below
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?