Date: 17th February 2010 at 9:30am
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Another draw against Stoke and another absymal City performance, yet somehow The Blues are in 4th place with a game in hand. Here’s the dugout feedback from last night’s groan-athon…

Roberto Mancini:

Is the City gaffer chopping and changing the starting XI to such an extent that confusion is setting in? He dropped Bridge, Petrov, Ireland, SWP and Zabaleta from the FA Cup throwaway for last night’s scrap. Surely The Blues should be playing with a more settled side at this stage of the season?

‘In the first half the ball was in the air most of the time and it was difficult for us to play. We had to fight, it was the only way to play. We were better after the break, but when it was 11 v 10 we should have created more chances. We should have got it down the channels for Shaun or Adam, but too often we played it down the middle. I made a change by bringing Shaun on and pushing Gareth to left back, but we should have been more aggressive to try to win the game. We were too quiet at times and we had some good chances to win this game.

‘Sometimes football is like this, we made mistakes but in the end we got a goal when we needed it. But this was two points less than what we wanted. Fourth is not a bad position, but it would have been better with a win. Now we must recover, I hope we can come back and win in the cup next week but tonight, we should have looked for two more points than we got.’

The biggest worry for many Blues was the slow tempo that City are currently playing with. They look far too lethargic and are showing a marked lack of urgency. Something ain’t right.

Tony Pulis:

The Stoke boss felt rightly aggrieved at his 10 man side’s goal being disallowed in the final seconds. City’s defence had caved in again.

‘It was a good goal, the result has been taken away from us by a poor decision. You only have to look at Kolo TourĂ©. He’s on his knees with his head in his hands. He’s not appealing for a foul. It’s a disgraceful decision. I just hope Wiley accepts he got it wrong. Professional footballers know it’s a good goal.’

Hardly inspiring stuff from City’s hapless Captain who’s form is worsening with each performance. TourĂ© can be sur ethat Stoke will be fired up for next week’s crucial FA Cup 5th Round Replay.

Pulis, after bemoaning an off the ball challenge by the struggling Patrick Vieira concluded:

‘When it was 11 against 11 we were the better team and really took the game to them. We played with good passion and commitment. Then when we have a player sent off and it’s difficult for us. We are a million miles away from Man City when you look at the depth of their squad, but we have spirit and we also have some good players as well. It was a really good performance from the lads, but then you get decisions affected by the officials.’

As the season builds towards an exciting climax, that disallowed goal could prove crucial to City’s cause come the final reckoning.

VMC City Video Link: Mancio Pitchside Post Match


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