Roberto Mancini laughs at criticism following win

Roberto Mancini has to laugh at the bizarre fact he has been branded a failure even though his team are only three points off the Premier League summit.

Even after yesterday's impressive 4-1 win at Fulham, the Manchester City boss only trails Avram Grant as the most likely top-flight boss to get the sack.

This despite being in a Champions League spot and in contention for much better from this crazy season.

But Mancini has known for quite a while he faces a tough task changing hearts and minds of those outside the club. Not that he cares.

"Last week I was a stupid manager who was six points behind. Now, I am the 'best manager' because I am only three points off the top of the league," shrugged Mancini.

"This is not important. We must continue to work and improve every game, every day. Only that way can we win.

"But if we have a big problem and a big crisis and we are only three points behind United and Chelsea, then we are doing well.

"But, in our minds, we must only think about working."

Fulham boss Mark Hughes must have been frustrated by his own team being undone by his own stellar signing as City boss.

Carlos Tevez guided the visitors in front after only five minutes and then wrapped up their scoring early in the second-half, after Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure had struck in a three-minute golden spell just before the break.

Zoltan Gera did pull one back for the hosts but Hughes acknowledged the better team were triumphant.

And he has no doubt that with a little more attacking intent on home soil, City can pose a serious title threat this term.

"If they have belief and there's forward-thinking, and maybe they can be more attack-minded - as they were - on more occasions, there is no reason why they shouldn't be contenders," said Hughes.

"They were excellent.

"We were complicit in that with the time we let them have. But they've got as good a chance as anybody."

In front of Diego Maradona, City were rampant, the only downside being the booking for Zabaleta that means he will be suspended for Saturday's trip to Stoke.

"I saw Maradona before the game," said Mancini.

"I was very happy because I saw him in good form. He is a good man.

"For the game, we played fantastic football. I must thank my players for that."

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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?