Mancini wary of Fulham threat
- 19 March 2010 11:21
- Posted by Tim Oscroft
Roberto Mancini is not counting on there being any sense of "after the Lord Mayor's Show" at Craven Cottage on Sunday.
The well-appointed west London ground is sure to be buzzing after Fulham's fine win over Juventus on Thursday, and while there might a few tired legs in the home side the City manager still expects a tough examination.
"They played very well and I was very impressed by them," he reflects, "it's going to be difficult for us on Sunday, but maybe they will be tired.
"But I still think they will go with a strong team. They may change some players, but I am sure that they won't change their approach, and they will be taking this game just as seriously.
You're not tired after you win! After the game against Juventus they will only have had a couple of days to recover and prepare for us, but I still think that they will make it hard for us.
Sunday will not be the first time that Mancini has locked horns with his opposite number across the technical zones. Roy Hodgson's time as a manager in Italy has earned him much kudos throughout the game in that country, and his City counterpart is full of admiration for the Fulham boss.
"I know him from his time in Italy, he's a good person, a good manager and with all his experience he knows a lot about football. He's done very well at Fulham, and he has a lot of respect in Italy because of his time with Inter."
The Manager was also positive about getting injured left-back Wayne Bridge for some crucial games in the closing weeks of the season.
"We are looking at one month away for Wayne, and it looks like it should not be longer than that. I am very hopeful that he will be back for the last few of weeks of the season, because those final games are going to be very difficult and very important ones for us."