'We're Not Weak'

Manchester City will bounce back from their poor Champions League form and become stronger as they chase more domestic honours, Roberto Mancini insisted yesterday.

Manchester City players celebrate a goal during an EPL match against Sunderland earlier this month. Pic/Getty Images.

The City boss has admitted it will require a miracle for his expensively-assembled side to reach the Champions League knockout stage after losing to Ajax in midweek.

Their 3-1 defeat in Amsterdam leaves the reigning Premier League champions with only one point from three games, a point most observers could reasonably put down to outrageous good fortune as they somehow got a draw against Borussia Dortmund after losing to Real Madrid in the Bernabeu.

Roberto Mancini

But City will leapfrog second-placed Manchester United, who are away to leaders Chelsea on Sunday, if they make it four domestic wins in a row today against a Swansea side which has tasted victory once in six league games.

And Mancini is urging his side not to let their European misery disrupt their defence of the league title. “When you play an important game and you lose you are disappointed, and I’m disappointed like all my players,” said the Italian.

“Maybe now it’s difficult to go through but we have an important season and if we are like this after one defeat, then we’re really weak. But I don’t think this. It is the second season we have played Champions League. We need to improve but the games are the same. I think we’re strong enough (to bounce back).”

Defender Micah Richards questioned the tactics against Ajax but Mancini responded: “We work every day on tactical situations.

“All the players know this system. We conceded a third goal because we did a stupid mistake — not because we changed the system. “Yes (good players should be able to play in any system).”

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