Manchester City facing mental battle ahead of match against Tottenham says David Platt

The sides meet at White Hart Lane on Sunday

Assistant boss David Platt accepts Manchester City are facing battles of mental strength ahead of their trip to Tottenham this weekend.

The Barclays Premier League champions were well below par and required a brilliant late Carlos Tevez goal to snatch a 1-0 victory against a superior Wigan side at the Etihad Stadium last night.

Platt felt the team's exertions of the past week had affected performance, the game coming after a demanding derby win at Manchester United and an energy-sapping FA Cup semi-final success over Chelsea at Wembley.

He believes the toll on the players was as much mental as physical and he knows they must recover for a game important in the fight for second place at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

Platt, the first-team coach at Eastlands, said: "I think we are probably feeling the effects of the two big games we have had, mentally more than anything, what it takes out of you.

"We saw on the pitch we couldn't get anything going. There was a lack of energy about us. Maybe we were mentally tired.

"We played against a team that keep the ball and made it difficult for us.

"We didn't look as though we were going to create anything and I think it needed a flash of brilliance to unblock the game, but that is what we know we have got in the team.

"The physical side is one thing but we can recuperate by fuelling the boys right, getting the right food into them, giving them the right rest and the right cures.

"It is not the physical side that is the problem, but the mental side. That game will have brought us back to earth.

"We will recuperate and go to White Hart Lane."

Relegation-threatened Wigan, who will face City in next month's FA Cup final, had an extra day to recover from their semi-final win over Millwall and were the hungrier side.

Roberto Martinez's men dominated possession for long spells and created some slick football that created most of the game's best chances.

Joe Hart saved brilliantly from Franco di Santo, Joleon Lescott cleared off the line from Shaun Maloney and Vincent Kompany produced a superb block to deny Arouna Kone.

Edin Dzeko did force Joel Robles into a good save but Wigan looked set to take something from the game until Tevez slipped two men on the edge of the box seven minutes from time and rifled home.

Platt said: "Wigan are a good team. It is probably not the kind of opposition we wanted to face three days after a semi-final - and that coming on the back of the Man Utd game - because they keep the ball, and if you can't get near them because of a lack of energy it gets frustrating.

"It gets frustrating for the crowd, frustrating for the players because normally we have the lion's share of possession here.

"But it was an evening where we had to just get the job done and that is what we have done."

City's victory saw United's lead at the top of the table cut to 13 points and even though they have a game in hand, nobody at Eastlands seriously believes the title race is still alive.

Platt said: "It is irrelevant what they do. Unless they open the door completely and have a big collapse then it's over, it's been over for a long time.

"The points gap is far too big. I think they'll get over the line."

PA

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