Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has hailed his side’s mental strength in beating Swansea City after their recent disappointments in the Champions League.
Following a 3-1 defeat to Ajax in midweek, the Italian revealed his eagerness to avoid any lasting damage to City’s domestic challenges – and the team were met by a chorus of boos at half-time after struggling to break down a stubborn Swans side.
Mancini chose not to highlight his players’ slow start to the game, instead praising the Blues for persevering to grinding out a victory.
“In this moment after Champions League defeat it’s important we start to win quickly,” he told reporters.
“[In the] first half [we played] so-so, [but] I think we were so tired. The second half we were getting better, we had lots of chances to score.”
Mario Balotelli’s arrival at the start of the second half gave a previously frustrated Carlos Tevez more freedom on the pitch, with the Argentine snatching his side’s eventual winner with a thunderous long-range strike just after the hour mark, and Mancini spoke of his delight at the latter breaking his eight-game scoreless streak.
“[Tevez] played well,” the Italian added. “He played also well against West Brom, he worked hard for the team.
“He scored today and it was an important goal, I am happy for him.”
The game ended on a sour note, with defender Micah Richards stretchered off with a knee injury 10 minutes from time.
With fellow right-backs Pablo Zabaleta and Maicon already sidelined, Mancini is hopeful that the seven-day break before the trip to face West Ham could leave enough time for one or both of the injured duo to return to match fitness.
He added: “[Richards] has a problem in his knee, but I don’t know the situation. I hope [it is not bad] but I don’t know.
“[There is] no previous problem, he was tired because it was the third game in 10 games.
“We have one week we can recover, maybe we can recover a couple of players for the next game.”