Roberto Mancini has put his faith in the current squad to top last season’s third place in the Barclays Premier League.
Hours after the transfer window flew open the City chief has re-iterated his trust the group but told his men that it may take another 45 points if they are to build on last year’s third spot and land the biggest prize of all – the title!
The Italian was incredulous at the way his side lost to Sunderland on New Year’s Day and is expecting that they now show the same kind of determination against Liverpool as they have every other time they have had a negative result this campaign.
“I hope the players went home very disappointed on Monday evening - as I did - and want to put things right against Liverpool,” said the boss.
I made changes at the Stadium of Light because I have trust in all my players
"I will make more changes against Liverpool. We have a talented squad and some choices in some positions. They are all top players.
“We have to learn from each time we lose a game and what we have to make sure is that we a little less selfish in front of goal – there were many occasions, may be ten or twelve, in the second half at Sunderland when players could have passed the ball when there was a chance to score – and that when we are not able to win a game then we don’t lose it.”
Mancini is likely to bring in fresh full backs and restore Mario Balotelli to the side for the second clash with Liverpool this season, the first one ended 1-1, with two more to come in quick succession in the Carling Cup semi-final.
“I think it will be tough because we have not had long to recover and Liverpool are a very good team,” the manager continued.
“Liverpool will come to our ground to attack and it should be a good game. Stephen Gerrard’s return for them is a big thing because he is a fantastic player but they are strong with or without him.
“We have to make our home advantage count in this game. We have done well at home so far this season and we must keep putting points on our total.
“We may need another 45 points in the second half of the season if we want to arrive in May on the top of the table.”