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The Italian is not worried by the loss but said his side need to start winning, beginning with Sunday’s match against the Gunners where he hopes to have Micah Richards available

Roberto Mancini has moved to calm fears that Manchester City could be overtaken at the top of the table after backing his side to respond to their defeat against Chelsea with a win on Sunday at home to Arsenal.

City’s lead at the top of the table has been cut to two points after their 2-1 loss at Stamford Bridge and they could start the match against the Gunners in second place depending on Manchester United’s result against QPR.

Arsenal have won seven of their last eight Premier League games and will be confident coming into the match, but Mancini has backed his side to bounce back after their disappointment at Stamford Bridge.

"After 15 games we are on the top, with two more points than United," he told reporters.

"The season is long. We have said that before.

"We are strong enough to start winning again and one result doesn't change anything.

"We know if we want to win, we should continue to play well, like we did at Chelsea.

"We don't have a problem bouncing back. I am sure we will.

"We play Arsenal on Sunday. At this moment, Arsenal are playing very well.

"It will be difficult but we need to start again."

Mancini is hopeful of having Micah Richards available after the full-back missed the last fortnight with a calf injury.

Pablo Zabaleta filled in at right-back against Chelsea, but with Gael Clichy suspended for Sunday’s match having been sent off against the Blues, the Argentine could be deployed on the left against the Gunners.

"I think Micah will be OK for Sunday," said Mancini.

"Then we have Pablo, who can play on the left."

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