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Boss wants Blues to kick on from here

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini does not think that City's impressive record against their main rivals at the top of the table will count for much when playing sides from lower down in the Barclays Premier League.

When playing the traditionally-named "top four" sides this season, City have only lost once. With the opening day draw against another Champions League rival, Spurs, taken into account it has added up to a start to the season which now sees the Blues in fourth place.

City now face a string of games against opponents further down the table, but earlier in the week Kolo Toure said that it is these sorts of games where City must get a maximum return, something his manager concurs with.

"I agree with Kolo," Roberto said, "but they are going to be difficult games. We have played all the top teams, but now if we want to go up the table we have to beat these kinds of teams, but it will not be easy.

"We have had a lot of injuries, Carlos was out for three games, Mario has only played one game in the league.

 

But we must start to get goals from the midfield and defence as well. We can't only rely on our strikers to score.

 

He also urged fans not to be too disappointed with Wednesday night's goalless draw with United, adding:

"We stopped one of the best teams in Europe from having many chances to score. When two strong teams play in a difficult game like a derby there will not be many chances. They have a good defence, so do we but I would prefer this result, a draw, to last season's. I think the fans would prefer it as well."

With the derby consigned to history, thoughts are now firmly on the visit of Birmingham City, although Mancini is forced to prepare without the services of the striker who had such an impact against another Midlands team last weekend.

"We are missing Mario, he scored two goals against West Brom and he defended as well as attacking. It would be different if we could play him, but unfortunately we cannot. We will probably change some players, because apart from Mario we are in the situation where most of the players are available.

"I don't think there is pressure on us, we are in fourth place but everything depends on us and we can only think about the Birmingham game. It will be a difficult game, I watched them play Stoke the other night and they are a good side, with a good manager. Playing every three days is tiring, and they played a day before us so they may have recovered more than us."

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