Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini concerned over injury to Jack Rodwell

Former Everton midfielder has endured nightmare debut season

Roberto Mancini's relief at Manchester City keeping their slim hopes alive of retaining their Barclays Premier League title was tempered by another injury setback to Jack Rodwell.

A first half goal from Carlos Tevez was sufficient to earn City a 1-0 win at Aston Villa and cut the gap on leaders Manchester United to 12 points.

But midfielder Rodwell suffered a recurrence of his hamstring injury midway through the opening period and will be sidelined for "three to four weeks".

Mancini said: "We are very sorry for Jack, because he is a good guy, a good player, but he is unlucky. It is his hamstring.

"I think it is impossible to resolve his problem after six or seven months because he's had this problem for five or six years and we need maybe more time.

"How long will he be out? Maybe he will be back after the international break, three or four weeks. It is the same injury.

"I am very sorry because he is a young player. He needs to improve but he has played very well against Chelsea and was playing very well tonight."

Mancini repeated his determination that City will not give up on the title without a fight but admits they probably have to win their 10 remaining games.

He said: "It is difficult because we have 30 points to play for and we need to try to win.

"At the end, we will see what happens. In football everything can happen right up to the last second.

"We probably need to win all 10 matches that are left. We need to win all the matches.

"If they (United) lose three or four or five games.....it is difficult because they are too strong for this.

"When you have to win always, it is difficult to win every game. But last year we did this. Why can't we do it this year?"

Sergio Aguero was also ruled out with a knee injury and will also miss the weekend FA Cup tie with Barnsley but Mancini is hopeful he will be available for the next league clash with Everton.

Villa remain in the bottom three and manager Paul Lambert admitted a mistake by defender Ciaran Clark proved crucial in the build-up to Tevez's decider.

Lambert said: "I thought we were well in the game. The goal is a mistake. I wouldn't have minded if someone had put one in the top corner with a bit of skill.

"But it's a mistake by us. It is easy to be critical of Ciaran. The lad has been excellent all season. He will learn from it, he won't make the same mistake again."

Midfielder Fabian Delph will be suspended for the next two games against Reading and QPR after collecting his 10th booking of the season for handball.

Lambert said: "He's playing extremely well, really well. You are pressing forward, to try and get a goal back and things like that happen."

The Villa boss knows the significance of the next two matches.

He said: "The next two games are massive for us. If we play like that, we will give teams a fright, that's for sure."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Under the skin: Sarah Kane in May 1998
theatreThe story behind a new season of Sarah Kane plays
Arts and Entertainment
Preening: Johnny Depp in 'Mortdecai'
filmMortdecai becomes actor's fifth consecutive box office bomb
Sport
Bradford City's reward for their memorable win over Chelsea is a trip to face either Sunderland or Fulham (Getty)
football
News
Lars Andersen took up archery in his mid thirties
video
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project