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Man City boss Roberto Mancini targets tighter defence

Man City keeper Joe Hart clutches the ball under pressure
Manchester City have conceded seven goals in their last three matches

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says his side must tighten up defensively if they are to challenge for honours at the end of the season.

In their last three games City have conceded seven goals, including two in the 4-2 FA Cup third round replay win over Leicester on Tuesday.

"If you don't concede a lot of goals then at the end of the season you will win something," said Mancini.

"We must improve and work harder. It is all about concentration."

Mancini's side showed plenty of attacking verve in Tuesday's FA Cup win at Eastlands, with Carlos Tevez again in fine goal-scoring form.

The Argentine fired in City's first goal and played a part in the second, scored by Patrick Vieira - although Tevez did later blot his copy book by missing a second-half penalty.

Adam Johnson calmly slotted the home side's third, with Aleksandar Kolarov adding a late fourth.

However, City were fallible at the back, conceding a first-half penalty when Patrick Vieira tripped Lloyd Dyer - which Paul Gallagher scored to make it 1-1 - and then allowing Dyer to battle clear and side-foot home to briefly make it 3-2.

The two goals conceded on Tuesday follow the three Wolves scored against them in City's 4-3 Premier League win on Saturday and the two Leicester scored 10 days ago to ensure tonight's replay came to pass.

"We thought that the game was finished, then we conceded," added Mancini. "I don't like this. It's exciting for the fans, but I prefer to win 4-1, 1-0 or 2-0."


Leicester boss Sven-Goran Eriksson, who managed Manchester City from 2007 to 2009, heaped praise on his former club and backed them to win a trophy this season, despite Mancini's defensive concerns.

"I am sure they are one of the teams who can win the league," the former England boss said. "I hope they can win the FA Cup. It would be good for us to have gone out against the winners."

Eriksson's Championship side showed plenty of endeavour over the two FA Cup ties and the Swede feels they are in good shape to achieve promotion to the Premier League in the next two years.

"We are not Manchester City but it is a clear project to take the club up to the Premier League," Eriksson said.

"I am very happy with that. It is very good to be at a club where the owners are good.

"You can feel that everyone believes in it and hopes the club go up to the Premier League. And we will. Hopefully this season. If not this one, then next."

Manchester City next face a fourth-round trip to League One Notts County, another of Eriksson's former clubs, where the Swede was director of football.

Mancini revealed that Eriksson, who was the Italian's manager during his playing days at Lazio and Sampdoria, tried to persuade him to become County manager last season.

"He tried to get me to manage Notts County," Mancini said. "We spoke about it one or two times but then we finished.

"When we spoke, it was a good situation. Afterwards it wasn't, so I am happy to be here now."

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The FA Cup results

18 Jan 2011 23:59 UK

see also
Tuesday football as it happened
18 Jan 11 |  Football
FA Cup football photos
18 Jan 11 |  Football
Man City 4-2 Leicester
18 Jan 11 |  FA Cup
Leicester 2-2 Man City
09 Jan 11 |  FA Cup
FA Cup fourth round draw details
19 Jan 11 |  FA Cup

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