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Man City need to change mentality, says Roberto Mancini

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Mancini rails against penalty decision

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has demanded an improved attitude from his side after they twice relinquished a lead in the 2-2 draw with Birmingham.

City are winless in three games and eight points behind leaders Manchester United, with their title hopes fading.

"We must improve. We need to play football again and the last two weeks we have to forgot this," said Mancini.

"We must change our mentality, play football and stop conceding goals. We need to work harder in training."

Mancini's players began in stunning fashion when Carlos Tevez scored an early opener, and despite Nikola Zigic poking in an equaliser, Aleksandar Kolarov curled in a fine free-kick to give City a 2-1 lead at half-time.

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But the visitors paid a heavy price for complacency and wasteful finishing as Craig Gardner crashed in a late penalty to secure a thoroughly deserved draw for Birmingham.

It has been a lacklustre two weeks for City, who needed a late strike from Edin Dzeko to snatch a draw against Notts County in the FA Cup last week, and were beaten 1-0 defeat by Aston Villa in the Premier League previous to that.

As well as trailing leaders United, City find themselves three points behind second-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand, while fourth-placed Chelsea are only two points behind Mancini's side.

"It was a disappointing result for us and we can't keep conceding. It is impossible to win if you do that every time and the gap at the top at this moment is too much," stated Mancini.

Asked if the title remained a realistic ambition, the Italian said: "It's a big gap but football is strange and can change very quickly."

Mancini was incensed at the penalty awarded when Patrick Vieira was adjudged to have fouled Kevin Phillips.

McLeish pleased with 'tremendous' Birmingham

"It isn't a penalty. It is nothing. It is impossible for that to be a penalty. If that was a penalty then there would be five penalties in every game," said Mancini.

"Phillips dived. That decision was costly for us. We didn't play well but it was not a penalty."

However, Birmingham boss Alex McLeish jumped to the defence of his striker.

"If you look at the penalties given against us this season, they've been much softer than that. I'm sure Manchester City have had their fair share of the dubious kind," the Scot said.

"Kevin has flicked the ball past Vieira and he has clattered in to him. That is a foul.

"Kevin was too quick. Kevin never dived. Kevin is not a diver. He is a true English gentleman."



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Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 2 Feb 2011 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Man Utd 24 32 54
2 Arsenal 24 27 49
3 Man City 25 17 46
4 Chelsea 24 25 44
5 Tottenham 24 7 41
6 Sunderland 25 2 37
7 Liverpool 25 2 35
8 Bolton 25 0 33
9 Blackburn 25 -7 31
10 Newcastle 24 2 30
11 Stoke 24 -2 30
12 Fulham 25 0 29
13 Blackpool 24 -9 28
14 Aston Villa 25 -15 28
15 Everton 24 -3 27
16 West Brom 24 -14 26
17 Birmingham 23 -10 24
18 West Ham 25 -17 24
19 Wigan 25 -19 23
20 Wolves 24 -18 21

see also
Birmingham 2-2 Man City
02 Feb 11 |  Premier League
Wednesday football as it happened
02 Feb 11 |  Football
Wednesday's football photos
02 Feb 11 |  Football



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