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Mancini hails side's quality and fight



Roberto Mancini feels that his team might just be hitting form at the right time.

The City chief  admitted that his men had been slightly off colour in the past few weeks but that the stirring fight back against Chelsea showed that they are not far off their peak.

“I was frustrated in the first half because we didn’t take our chances and at this stage of the season you cannot afford to do that but I felt we deserved to win,” he said.

“The result is significant and will give us a big lift. We used a lot of energy winning these three points now we must recover for another tough game at Stoke on Saturday night.

I know we broke a record for wins at home but the record I want is the title

...Roberto Mancini


Mancini praised Carlos Tevez on his return to the side for the first time since September and spoke warmly too about Samir Nasri.

He was less complimentary about Mario Balotelli who was substituted tactically at half time.

“Carlos is two or three weeks away from full fitness but he showed his football brain in the minutes that he was on the pitch,” declared the manager of the man he brought on with 25 minutes to go and who provided the assist for Samir Nasri’s winning goal.

“He will be an important player for us. He has been back a month now and is in the dressing room happy like all the players.

“Samir played his best game for us but he can do better. He can be as good as David Silva and Xavi. He is that type of player and still young so he can improve a lot.

“I didn’t like the way Mario played in the first half so I made a tactical substitution.”

Mancini revealed that Joleon Lescott was unlikely to play at Stoke this weekend but that Vincent Kompany ‘has a chance’.

And the final words of praise from the manager were reserved for another sell out Etihad crowd.

“Our fans were incredible,” the Italian concluded. “When we went a goal down they drove us on to fight back and that’s what we did. We showed our physical strength is good and our mental strength too.”

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