Date: 2nd January 2010 at 7:45pm
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Mancio’s shrewd manipulation of the City squad is lending weight to the theory he knows it’s strengths and weaknesses far better than many think. Time for some post match reaction…

Roberto Mancini:

The City gaffer focused on his introduction of fringe players at Ice Station Riverside today. It was great to hear him talk up the MCFC Academy…

‘I have never been afraid of giving young players there chance in the side. It is important for us as a big club to know that we can rely on the younger players if we need them. Vladimir has shown what he can do in a couple of substitute appearances and Dedryck has been doing really well in training.

‘For me both young players have bright futures and that is not just good for them but also the club. It is important to me and to the owners and to the fans as well that we continue to bring players through our Academy.’


Mancio craftily changes City’s operating mode throughout a game in a way that Mark Hughes’ almost completely failed to do. It certainly indicates that the Blues’ boss has been more than doing his homework for a reasonable period of time.

However, again at full time the City boss pointed his players to the travelling Blue Army who at least tried to make a cup tie of it against a shocking Middlesbrough support no show:

‘I like cup football and I want to do well in the FA Cup as well as the Carling Cup. I was pleased with the performance from the team. I enjoyed it, but most of all I want to congratulate our supporters for making the game thorough the bad weather and then giving us such great support. Seeing them so happy made the win even better.’

Gordon Strachan:

The ex rag was more than Taggartish in his begrudging reaction to his latest defeat. Strachan saw the injury to Adam Johnson as the main reason for Boro’s defeat.

Before City’s goal, he referred to little threat from the under strength Blues:

‘When we lost him that was a huge body blow, when Adam went off there was no threat from Man City at that point at all and I felt comfortable – they look good and are strong but I didn’t think our goal was under threat.’

Forgetting that City also fielded teenagers today, he went on:

‘It is not very often that at a good club you have to ask somebody to come back for two weeks and do us a favour, and then we have a 16-year-old and a 19-year-old who only made his debut last week, we need to do something. We need permanent players and I will speak to Marcus again but we have told him we are looking to go another direction.

‘We are having a tough time at the moment, but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’


Middlesbrough’s pisspoor support may beg to differ.

So, safely into the fourth round of the FA Cup, now for the rags and unfortunately City have shipped two more injuries as the treatment table list lengthens. Robinho and Micah Richards (who was substituted at Boro) both have groin injuries.

It’s Rag Week on VMC so stay tuned as we take the Evil Empire to task…

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