Mancini annoyed at lack of clean sheet
Roberto Mancini is demanding Manchester City scale even greater heights this season.
The Italian watched his side ease past Norwich to remain well clear of the chasing pack, but Mancini was less than impressed at the Blues' failure to shut out the Canaries.
Steve Morison's far post header proved scant consolation in the end for the Canaries, but irked Mancini who has now watched the Blues concede in their last seven league encounters intermingled with routine attacking brilliance.
'It was not easy,' he said. 'Only 1-0 after the first half and if you don't score more goals then the game can change. I think the performance was difficult because Norwich played with all their players behind the ball and in the first half that made it difficult for us. Norwich had an early chance as well and for this reason it is never an easy game. If you are 1-0, 2-0 you can still concede.
'We didn't find a good solution to find more than one goal. You know if you don't close the game it can be difficult. Usually when we are 3-0 up we relax ourselves and we usually concede a stupid goal. We can't keep our concentration and I am very frustrated for this because I am sure if we were only 1-0 up we wouldn't concede a goal. I don't like to concede this goal. We need to keep our concentration for 95 minutes.'
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Mancini unleashed all his main attacking weapons against Norwich despite the small matter of this week's pivotal Champions League test against Bayern Munich. A signal perhaps of where his priorities really lie for the campaign.
'I have good players,' he said. 'Of course, always it is difficult to pick good players because I am very sorry when I should leave out players but now we play every three days.
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'We have an important match coming up in the Champions League, we then have Chelsea and Arsenal and the FA Cup coming up as well.
'This was a good result, but it is better to win something in the end. If we continue like this, then probably, but we know the season is long with a lot of strong teams. I think it is not important to be there now (at the top). The important time is the end of the season. We know the season is very hard. It is very long and we don't know what can happen in the next month, but it is important to stay on the top.'
Mancini's coach, David Platt, admitted the visitors had proved a particularly tough nut to crack before Sergio Aguero finally made the breakthrough in the final ten minutes of the opening period.
'Full credit to them. They got people behind the ball,' he said. 'They didn't want to open up too early and it was always going to take a bit of brilliance in a tight area to open the game up. We know we have got that kind of player out there. You can get frustrated sat on the bench but I think it was a case of keep moving it, keep shifting the ball and eventually it was going to open up.
'You hear things coming into a week like this when you are playing a newly-promoted side who have done quite well this season to get themselves in a mid-table position. People automatically assume that we are going to go out and score five, six, seven or eight goals against these teams. To be honest, we'd take one as long as there was no reply because that gives you the three points exactly the same.'
Platt hailed the display of Samir Nasri who capped another faultless outing with a fortuitous free-kick goal that deceived John Ruddy.
'Samir played the majority against Liverpool, went down to the Emirates and played in that game and also played here. I think today he looked very bright,' he said. 'Even if you take away his goal. I'm sure the goalkeeper is going to be a little disappointed it has gone in but we got runners across it and that can happen.
'I think when he plays with that zest he is a real force to be reckoned with.'