Roberto Mancini expects a more familiar performance on their own turf from the City team that survived a cliff-hanger of an FA Cup tie against battling opponents Notts County.
City were less that pitch perfect at Meadow Lane, where a midweek rugby union match had left its mark, and avoided an infamous fourth-round defeat only thanks to Edin Dzeko's first goal since joning the club.
But relieved manager Mancini is sure normal service will be resumed for the replay at the City of Manchester Stadium next month with a plum home tie against Aston Villa at stake in the last 16.
League One Notts took a 58th-minute lead through Neil Bishop from a poorly-defended corner, but City's manager said: "This is football - it seems at the moment that every time our opponents shoot, they score!
But I'm not frustrated, because I know it was difficult to play this game
The pitch was very hard, but it was important to play football. The other team fought, that's normal. If you don't play hard in these games you can lose them.
"The replay will be different. We must play well if we want to win, but it will be a different game - our pitch is different, we can play our football on it."
Mancini, who won the Italian Cup four times as a manager, made six changes to his side and saw recalled England defender Micah Richards play a staring role - though it was his new Bosnia striker who saved the day.
The Blues boss admitted: "Dzeko needs more time to understand English football, but it is important that he scored his goal."
But there was less happy news on the injury front; Carlos Tevez has a back problem that kept him out of the squad for the cup tie, but more serious is Adam Johnson's ankle injury.
"Now we only have big problem, with Adam Johnson," said Roberto. "I think we have lost him for three months, it's a big problem for us and it looks like the same kind of injury that Kolarov had. It's very unlucky, we don't have a player like Adam but I hope that Tevez will be OK, we will see on Monday."