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Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Sunday, 26 December 2010

Man City boss Roberto Mancini targets home improvement


Mancini praise Milner contribution

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has challenged his players to improve on their record at Eastlands.

City won 3-1 at Newcastle on Boxing Day and have the best away record in the Premier League but have won only four of nine fixtures at home.

"I know that we must improve at home, this is very important," said Mancini, whose team entertain Aston Villa on Tuesday, kick-off 1500 GMT.

City lost their last home fixture 2-1 against Everton on 20 December.

The Manchester club would have been top of the Premier League at Christmas if they had won that fixture.

Turan Arda

"We were disappointed to lose to Everton," added Mancini. "And it was important that we had a victory at Newcastle, where it is difficult to win.

"The season is very long and we need to improve. We must continue to do this."

City also lost at home to Arsenal and dropped points in drawn games against Blackburn, Manchester United and Birmingham.

The victory at Newcastle started a sequence of four games in 11 days for City over the Christmas and New Year period.

"For me it is incredible," added Mancini of the fixture congestion. "It is an important period and we want to always try to win."

City led 2-0 after five minutes of their match at Newcastle - with Magpies keeper Tim Krul at fault for the first goal and midfielder Cheik Tiote giving away possession in the build up to the second.

"I do not think they were generous," said Mancini of the Newcastle errors. "It was a very difficult game because Newcastle are a strong team.

"We won because we played well and after we scored twice we fought for every ball. It was important to work very well on Newcastle striker Andy Carroll - every long ball for him was difficult.

"It is difficult to deal with him because in the area he is fantastic but today we defended very well."

Tevez scored twice and has now found the net 12 times in the Premier League this season.

"I'm happy because Carlos scored two goals," added the City boss. "But we won this game only because of all the players very well, especially James Milner, who for me played a fantastic game."

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see also
Boxing Day football as it happened
26 Dec 10 |  Football
Newcastle 1-3 Man City
26 Dec 10 |  Premier League
Boxing Day football photos
26 Dec 10 |  Football
Manchester City 1-2 Everton
20 Dec 10 |  Premier League

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