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The Italian spoke of the pride he has in his players after they overcame the disappointment and tiredness of the loss to Ajax in midweek to grind out a 1-0 win against the Swans

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.”

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