herald

Wednesday 22 August 2018

Shay not Given for Fox hunt

Mancini to keep faith with Hart as De Jong get serious about Cup

SHAY GIVEN may be left in cold storage for the seventh game in a row as Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is likely to stick with Joe Hart for tonight's FA Cup replay against Leicester City.

But Mancini has given Hart a stern warning that he needs to up his game and the Italian even blamed Hart for the fact that City are even playing this game tonight.

"Without Joe's mistake [in the first game at Leicester] the replay would not be happening," Mancini said, just days after Mancini told Given that the frustrated Donegal man would not be allowed to leave Eastlands this month unless City signed a top-quality replacement keeper.

"Joe is a young player and has saved the team many times but sometimes he can make mistakes.

"For a young goalkeeper it is important to have full concentration but sometimes Joe loses his concentration.

"He is improving but I think he has a chance to improve some more because he is young and this is his second year in the first team.

"He can become one of the best goalkeepers in England but he has to want to work and want to improve," Mancini added.

Hart's team-mate Nigel de Jong wants City to go all out for Cup glory in order to prove they can win the major prizes as well.

Mancini is set to make at least six changes to his starting line-up for tonight's third-round replay with Sven-Goran Eriksson's Leicester at Eastlands.

Victory would book a very winnable trip to Notts County, which could then leave City just two victories from a Wembley semi-final -- and three from their first major final since 1981.

For a club currently so ambitious, but which has been starved of success for so long, it would be an appearance to relish. Which is why De Jong is convinced no one at City should be dismissing what the FA Cup has to offer.

"You cannot put anything on a pedestal, including the Premier League or the Champions League," said the Dutchman.

"The highest point for every footballer is the World Cup, but silverware is silverware.

"You can't just say we're going for this trophy or that one.

"This club has to start somewhere. Winning something would make the guys feel they can win more and be hungry for more success.

"It's about how you feel winning with each other. A lot of guys have won cups with different teams, but not together.

"If we start with an FA Cup or Europa League and get that feeling right, more success will come."

Not that it will be easy.

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