Man City boss Roberto Mancini on FA Cup replay at Stoke - Manchester City FC

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Season 2009/10

We'll play Stoke at their own game, says Mancini

  • 22 February 2010 19:07
  • Posted by Peter Ferguson

Roberto Mancini is ready to rip up his usual game plan in a bid to beat Stoke and keep alive the dream of winning the FA Cup in his debut season as Blues boss.

City's manager delivered the Italian equivalent on cue to mark his first campaign in charge at his three previous clubs Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter Milan.

But Mancini knows City face a huge challenge in Wednesday night's fifth-round replay at the Britannia Stadium following Stoke's 1-1 draw in the first tie at City of Manchester Stadium.

Only Gareth Barry's late strike salvaged a point in last week's 1-1 Premier League draw at the Britannia and Mancini has confessed that "there are no teams like Stoke in Serie A".

Now he will ask his players to counter Stoke's threat by matching their style of play in a bold, calculated attempt to earn a quarter-final date with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.   
Mancini, whose side are at Chelsea in the League on Saturday, said: "Now we have a good game at Stoke. We want to play Chelsea twice so we want to win at Stoke. It's difficult but we will try.

Against Stoke, the ball will always be in the air. So we will prepare for a different game and not play our football.

...Roberto Mancini...

"We must work on the high ball, on corners and free kicks, long balls and long passes. If we want to win this game, we must play like them."

City's boss, whose only fully-fit available striker against Liverpool was Emmanuel Adebayor,  hopes Roque Santa Cruz's knee will improve for Stoke. Skipper Kolo Toure could also be back.

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