Let’s get ‘physical’: Roberto Mancini keen for Manchester City to see off strong Hammers, despite title trauma

By Paddy von Behr

Manchester City will not be bullied when they host a physical West Ham side on Saturday, according to manager Roberto Mancini.

Sam Allardyce’s side are unbeaten in five Premier League games, including holding Manchester United to a 2-2 draw earlier this month.

However, despite surrendering the title to Sir Alex Ferguson’s side last weekend, Mancini believes it is important for City to end the Hammers’ run.

“Tomorrow will be difficult – they are a physical team,” said the Italian.

“West Ham have had a good season, they have done very well. They showed this against United two weeks ago.

 “(Andy) Carroll is a strong striker, but that doesn’t change anything for us – we need to win this game.”

City’s failure to retain their first Premier League title was confirmed on Monday night, when United brushed aside Aston Villa, thanks to Robin van Persie’s hat trick.

However, they still have an FA Cup final against Wigan next month to look forward to and Mancini wants to close the gap to the Red Devils.

“They deserved to win this title,” he said.

“It was over three or four or five games ago. Not mathematically, but it was over.

“You always hope that you can recover but you have to be realistic. If there is one team that is better than you, you can do nothing.

“Maybe we made some mistakes. We did everything to win this title, but they were better than us.

“I don’t think the gap is correct and we have five games, we have time to recover six or seven points. But in the end it won’t change anything.”

The 48-year-old has no major injury concerns for Saturday’s clash, with James Milner, David Silva and Sergio Aguero all fit.

Jack Rodwell and Micah Richards are also in contention but neither is expected to start against West Ham.

Image courtesy of mcfcofficial, via YouTube, with thanks.

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