Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini predicting 'hard' Newcastle match

 

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims his side's hardest task in their title chase still lies ahead in Sunday's "Champions League final" at Newcastle.

City regained the initiative in their battle for the Barclays Premier League crown with arch-rivals Manchester United with victory in a tense derby on Monday.

Mancini's men now lead the table on goal difference with two games remaining but the Italian, who has continually played down City's chances over the past month, is wary of the high-flying Magpies.

He said: "Newcastle will be our hardest game - harder than United. It is strange but it is like this.

"They have had a fantastic season and are playing to get into the Champions League.

"Their manager is one of the best managers here and it will be a tough game.

"It is another Champions League final on Sunday. We have two - Newcastle and QPR.

"We have to keep a big concentration until May 13."

Mancini maintains United, with games against Swansea and Sunderland to come, are the favourites to retain their title.

Despite having lost to both of those sides this season, Mancini has referred to United's run-in as "two easy games".

Mancini said: "We have done nothing yet. We are at the top but we need to win two games.

"We need to play well and we need to score if we want to win. They will get six points.

"We are happy for the crowd but it is important our supporters do not think it is finished. We need to be very calm.

"We need to concentrate on the next game, work well, recover.

"The message is to keep calm, like one and two weeks ago. Nothing has changed."

City appeared to be out of contention as they fell eight points behind after a damaging defeat at Arsenal just over three weeks ago.

Since then they have won four in succession while United have won just one from four.

One of the most instrumental figures in City's late surge has been controversial striker Carlos Tevez.

Despite his well-publicised dispute with the club earlier this season, the Argentinian was quoted on the day of the derby saying he would like to stay at the Etihad Stadium.

Mancini has not ruled out that possibility but has reiterated it is a matter he intends to address in the summer.

When asked if Tevez staying was a possibility, Mancini said: "Why not? He has a contract, he is a good player.

"But now our concentration should be on Newcastle."

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum