Tuesday 21 November 2017

Mancini wants right reaction against 'Pool

ROBERTO MANCINI will demand a positive response to Manchester City's sloppy defeat at Sunderland, and his furious reaction to it, when they face Liverpool.

The Italian has rarely been as angry with his players as he was in the aftermath of Sunday's surprise 1-0 defeat, storming down the tunnel before the final whistle to prepare for an angry post-match assessment of the team's failings.

But, with a tough home game against Liverpool just 48 hours after that humiliation, Mancini aims to ensure the Christmas dip does not turn into a new year slump.

City are expected to make several changes to their starting line-up, with Mancini hoping Mario Balotelli can shake off an ankle injury in time to add a more unpredictable cutting edge to the team's attacks.

David Silva and Sergio Aguero are also expected to start with Adam Johnson and Samir Nasri -- who were regularly berated by their manager from the touchline at the Stadium of Light -- dropping to the bench.

"I hope it isn't going to be difficult to pick the players up after the defeat," Mancini said. "I hope they understand we are a top team and we cannot concede goals in the last minute on the counter-attack, like we did at Sunderland.

"I was very disappointed after the game, but I want the players to have a positive reaction. We lost a big chance to go three points clear of Manchester United. We have 45 points and we have scored 53 goals, these are things to be positive about."

Mancini has not ruled out dipping into the transfer market to add even more depth to his squad this month, but for now he is content to freshen up the team with players he knows.

"I will have to think about making changes because playing two games in 48 hours is difficult. I trust all my players," he said. "They all know, no matter if I change six or seven, what they should do on the pitch."

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