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Blues fans take to the internet to show their backing for the under-fire boss, whom they are keen to see continue at Eastlands despite the team faltering in the title race

Manchester City fans have started a campaign to show their support for manager Roberto Mancini, urging City’s owners to retain the Italian’s services regardless of whether they win the Premier League this season.

A 'Respect Roberto Mancini' petition has garnered more than 1,000 signatures so far, with City fans also taking to Twitter to rally their fellow Blues behind the boss, who has taken some criticism in recent weeks.

Mancini has seen his side surrender a commanding lead over Manchester United at the top of the table in recent weeks, including a run of just one win in five games between March and April.

But, with some speculating that the former Inter manager will be replaced in the summer, a group of City fans have taken action to demonstrate their enduring faith in the man who brought home City’s first trophy in 35 years with last season's FA Cup.

Speaking to the BBC, part-owner and pro-Mancini campaigner Andy Savage insisted: “I'd be devastated if he left and a lot of City fans would be.

"At the moment he's not committing his future, so the campaign is to show our support. We'd love him to stay and the majority of fans want him to stay. He knows the fabric of the club and gets on really well with the fans."

However, Savage was adamant that the campaign is not a protest against City’s owner Sheikh Mansour, but rather a reaction to what they perceive as the unfairly-negative press treatment of Mancini.

"The campaign is to show support for what he's done as he has not been getting enough respect. We'd like him to at least see out the remainder of his contract, but ideally get a new one," he continued.

"It is not about criticising the owners or putting pressure on them.

“Over the past few months, journalists have been having a go at Mancini and put pressure on him by saying his job is not safe. But the last thing we need is to be chopping and changing our manager.

"I can't see the owners doing it to be honest. They've brought him in, he's their man and I genuinely feel they've got a great relationship."