Mancini admits concentration issue

  • Last Updated: May 7 2013, 8:08 BST

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admits it is difficult for the Blues to keep fully focused on their Barclays Premier League run-in ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Wigan.

Roberto Mancini: Game against West Brom this evening
Roberto Mancini: Game against West Brom this evening

City's quest to cement second place in the table continues this evening when they host West Brom, three days after they had to settle for a point at Swansea.

Following the 0-0 draw with the Swans, Mancini expressed his frustration at how his players had failed to make the most of their opportunities during the game.

And on the subject of negotiating league fixtures in the last few days building up to a Wembley trip, the Italian said: "It is difficult and (the Swansea match) was difficult as our concentration is on the final.

"But we need to play these games and for us it is important to win."

Mancini has emphasised that it is far from ideal to have to play four days before a cup final, but acknowledged that Wigan - who host Swansea tonight - are in the same boat.

"It would be better to have one week (of unbroken preparation)," Mancini said.

"But we play Wigan and it is the same for them. Then we have four days to prepare."

Mancini, who rested striker Carlos Tevez by dropping him to the bench for the Swansea match, is set to shuffle his pack further for the visit of the Baggies.

Midfielder Yaya Toure was withdrawn at half-time at the Liberty Stadium as a precaution and may sit out this evening's contest.

Mancini said: "We need to change as we will be playing a second game in three days and we need some players to be fresh."

City captain Vincent Kompany is keeping an open mind on his chances of featuring tonight, but is in no doubt that Mancini will select a "strong" team.

Asked if he expected to play against Albion, the centre-back said: "I don't know, but the manager has got loads of options and I am sure that whatever side he puts out will be a strong side.

"It's a game that we have to win. There is no other way to think about this game.

"Until we are safe for that Champions League spot we have to play the games like every other game.

"It (Saturday) is a big, big day for the club - it's massive and everyone realises that.

"But it would be nice to win the game against West Brom. That would set us up really nicely."

Someone certain to not be involved against the Baggies is Scott Sinclair following confirmation at the weekend that the winger was being treated in hospital for a blood clot on his shoulder.

After this evening's clash, City's remaining league games see them travel to Reading and then host Norwich.


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