Updated: Friday, 13th December 2019 @ 6:03am

Former City director Tueart believes Roberto Mancini will settle for point in Manchester derby

Former City director Tueart believes Roberto Mancini will settle for point in Manchester derby

By Barrie White, News Correspondent

Former Manchester City player and director Dennis Tueart believes manager Roberto Mancini would settle for a point against rivals Manchester United in Sunday’s derby.

City head to Old Trafford two points ahead of Sir Alex Ferguson’s men in the Premier League after their 4-1 destruction of previously unbeaten Aston Villa.

And Tueart – who scored a memorable overhead kick when City won the 1976 League Cup – believes both managers’ team selections will make it a close contest.

“He (Mancini) might be influenced by that we’re playing at Old Trafford and we are a few points ahead of United,” said Tueart.

“I would suggest that right now, all things being equal after the midweek games, if we came away with a draw, Mancini would be very happy.

“It will be ever so close.  Sir Alex left a lot on the bench against Liverpool – Rooney, Nani, etc – but he had to bring them on.  

It’ll be a big challenge to both the managers as to how well they use their squads as they had big games in midweek so the two managers have a difficult team selection.”

Tueart, who left City as a director after Thaksin Shinawatra bought the club in 2007, believes that Mancini’s men are full of confidence going into a crunch game so early in the season.

He believes that there is always the expectation to win from players and fans, which comes from the depth and quality of the squad.

Tueart believes it is this depth that allows Mancini to leave players like David Silva and James Milner on the bench and will prove crucial in the chase for the title.

He said: “After the performance against Aston Villa, I’m very confident about next week.  We looked very solid – without Carlos Tevez – and we still had David Silva on the bench. 

“Now Mario Ballotelli is raring to go, the strength of the squad is there to be tested and it certainly looks good enough.

“I think we’ll be in the frame for the title. I think it’s been proved this year that the quality of the players on the bench today proves that we have a squad that could sustain the full run to the end of the season.”

Tueart also praised the Italian for his handling of the Tevez situation and believed that the attitude of the modern-day player has changed.

“He’s been very good.  I’m sure they’ll work it through and come to a sensible conclusion. 

“When I played, we used to have players shouting at the boss ‘hey, get me on’ because it was the desire of any footballer to play because the desire to play was huge.”