Pressure on Roberto Mancini is expected, says Patrick Vieira

 

Patrick Vieira believes questions over Roberto Mancini's position as manager at Manchester City are an inevitable consequence of the club's success.

Despite adding the Barclays Premier League title to 2011's FA Cup triumph, Mancini has come under scrutiny in recent weeks over City's poor Champions League form and revelations that he held discussions with Monaco last season.

A flurry of goals conceded from set-pieces have shone a light on the potentially unsettling effects of Mancini dabbling with a 3-5-2 formation this term, although a second-half switch to the system sparked Sunday's 2-1 win over Tottenham that maintained City's unbeaten record in the league and left them two points behind Manchester United at the summit.

"That is a part of the game," said Vieira, who holds the position of football development executive at the Etihad Stadium.

"People are like that and you people, journalists, try to find the little things that will sell more papers and will get more people listening to the news.

"But this is a part of our game and we accept it, no problem at all."

At last night's North West Football Awards, Mancini was named Manager of the Year and Vieira pointed to the five-year contract his former Inter Milan boss penned at the end of last season as evidence of the security he enjoys in east Manchester.

Additionally, the 36-year-old insists City need not look far to see the benefits of long-term continuity.

He said: "I hope (he is here in five years) because I believe that stability will bring success to the football club, to any football club.

"When you look Man United is a perfect example to follow, so why not?

"I think Mancini, since he's been at this football club his record has been fantastic.

"So credit to him - you're not winning the cup and winning the league as an average manager. You have to be good.

"He's a winner. He's working hard all week in training, trying to make the team focused and is really aware of the tactical aspect of awareness of the game.

"He is looking for the perfect game and he's really demanding. I think this is why he's so successful."

Vieira collected the Goal of the Year award on behalf of Sergio Aguero last night for the Argentina international's unforgettable injury-time strike to clinch City's first league title for 44 years against QPR in May.

Vital last-gasp goals have become something of a trademark for City of late, with Edin Dzeko leaving it until the 88th minute to sink Spurs at the weekend.

"I think it just shows the spirit of the team - never give up until the referee ends the game," Vieira added.

"That is a strength of the football club, a strength of the team - always believe and always find the resources to fight and score the last goal.

"When you look at Edin, Sergio, Carlos (Tevez) and Mario (Balotelli) there's so many players who can score at any time. They just need half a chance to score the goal. I think that's really important for us."

PA

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<b>Kathryn Williams</b>
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<p>
When I was supporting Ray La Montagne I was six months pregnant. He had been touring for a year and he was exhausted and full of the cold. I was feeling motherly, so I would leave presents for him and his band: Tunnock's Tea Cakes, cold remedies and proper tea. Ray seemed painfully shy. He hardly spoke, hardly looked at you in the face. I felt like a dick speaking to him, but said "hi" every day. </p>
<p>
He was being courted by the same record company who had signed me and subsequently let me go, and I wanted him to know that there were people around who didn't want anything from him. At the Shepherds Bush Empire in London, on the last night of the tour, Ray stopped in his set to thank me for doing the support. He said I was a really good songwriter and people should buy my stuff. I was taken aback and felt emotionally overwhelmed. Later that year, just before I had my boy Louis, I was l asleep in bed with Radio 4 on when Louis moved around in my belly and woke me up. Ray was doing a session on the World Service. </p>
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I really believe that Louis recognised the music from the tour, and when I gave birth to him at home I played Ray's record as something that he would recognise to come into the world with. </p>
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