Roberto Mancini insists Manchester City’s Cup disappointment this month has been down to bad luck rather than poor performances, and is confident his side can keep up the pressure on at the top of the Premier League.
Exits in both the FA Cup and the League Cup to Manchester United and Liverpool respectively mean the Eastlands outfit are fighting for trophies on just two fronts now instead of the four they were at the beginning of January.
However, Mancini believes the injuries and absent players that the club has had to contend with has been the catalyst for such disappointment.
“I think we were very unlucky in the last 40 days, very, very unlucky with some situations on the pitch,” the City manager told reporters.
“We were disappointed because we wanted to go to the final of the Carling Cup and we wanted to go through in the FA Cup.
“But it was a difficult situation against United because we played nearly 90 minutes with 10 players. In the second game against Liverpool, we tried everything and scored two goals at Anfield.
“December and January have been difficult months with injuries, Yaya Toure being away and having players banned. Now I hope we can go on and win in the Premier League.
“Our motivation should be that we are on the top and we want to stay there. If we want to do this, then we have to work hard in the next two months.”
City clash with Everton on Tuesday evening at Goodison Park, a venue the Lancashire outfit have won at just once in 20 years, but will be boosted by the return of the suspended Vincent Kompany and Mancini is delighted to have his captain back for selection.
“I think he’s important because he’s a strong defender,” said Mancini. “He’s improved a lot in the last two or three years.
“He’s a leader for us, he’s our captain. He’s very important in this moment because we have two hard months coming up and he’s important like Yaya.
“I think he’s one of the best defenders in Europe. I think Vinny can improve a lot because he’s young but already he is one of the best defenders in Europe.”
He added on the decision to ban Kompany: “For us, Vinny’s red card was one for other people.
"We thought it should not have been and it was difficult to understand. I hope Vinny can play all the games right up to the end.
“My players are good players. They never want to hurt other players and that is not in their minds. We have just had very unlucky months.”
The Italian boss is adamant that his side can show the necessary attributes to keep the pressure up at the top of the Premier League and is confident his side can of win their remaining fixtures this season.
“There is a belief in the team that we can become even stronger towards the end of the season and that’s very important,” he said.
“From now until the end of the campaign is when you need to show your real strength, both physically and mentally.
“We are set up quite nicely for the finish and we’re sure we’re going to get even stronger in the weeks to come. I don’t see why we can’t win all of our remaining games.”