The season is long, says Mancini
- Mon 10 Dec 2012, 9:05AM
- Posted by Nicola McCarthy
The Blues might be six points adrift the top of the table after yesterday’s derby defeat, but Roberto Mancini remains defiant.
Many of this morning’s media outlets pick up on Mancini’s belief that the Blues are still well placed to defend their Premiership crown.
“Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes that his team’s fighting spirit throughout the most recent edition of the Manchester derby demonstrates just how strong their title credentials are,” writes Zain Alvi of Premiership Talk.
“While Mancini’s men are now trailing their bitter cross-town rivals by six points, the Italian has pointed to last season’s stunning late revival as proof that the title remains very much within City’s reach.”
Mancini said: “For 20 minutes they didn’t touch the ball and the first chance they got, they scored a goal. We recovered very well and we dominated the second half. We wanted to win the game and we had chances.”
“We have showed we are a really strong team and we can win this title again. We can’t win always.”
Meanwhile, the City chief spoke to the media after yesterday’s match and urged forward Mario Balotelli to focus more on his football.
“The Manchester City manager has warned Balotelli he must improve after the striker's poor display against Manchester United,” reports the BBC’s Phil McNulty.
“Balotelli was preferred to Carlos Tevez but replaced by the Argentine early in the second half as City lost 3-2 to their title rivals.
“The Italy international failed to impress Mancini and was withdrawn in the 52nd-minute as City trailed 2-0 to their neighbours.”
Finally, Tom Cruise’s attendance at the Etihad for the Manchester showdown caused a bit of a stir.
“Hollywood icon Tom Cruise has joined 48,000 fans packed into the Etihad Stadium for today's Manchester derby,” reports the Manchester Evening News.
“Cruise, 50, had been urged to attend the game by pal and United legend David Beckham – who is also understood to have travelled to Manchester for the crunch Premier League match.
“Cruise was seen at pitchside prior to the 1.30pm kick-off after taking time out from shooting his latest blockbuster 'All You Need Is Kill' in Hertfordshire.
“Fellow big screen legend Robert Duvall has also been spotted among the capacity Etihad crowd for the top of the table clash.”