We need to have big balls! Roberto Mancini slams Man City players

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says his players must prove they have got "big balls" to play for the defending champions

The Sport Review staff
roberto mancini
Roberto Mancini's men won their first top-flight crown since 1968 last term Photo: Back Page Images

roberto mancini

Roberto Mancini says his Manchester City players must prove they have got “big balls” to play for the defending Premier League champions.

The Citizens manager was left fuming after his side produced an abject performance against struggling Southampton, losing 3-1 at St Mary’s on Saturday evening.

City’s latest defeat leaves them a staggering 12 points behind title rivals Manchester United, and Mancini was unhappy with his squad.

“When you play football and you are a top player, you should take your responsibility. Always. It’s not always the fault of the manager,” said Mancini.

“The players should take responsibility – if they have big balls. If not, they can’t play in a top team.”

Mancini pointed to the international friendlies on Wednesday as a factor in City’s loss, also hinting the Citizens are paying for their failure to sufficiently strengthen in the summer.

“I think we had big problems because we had 15 players who came back Thursday night and Friday from Qatar, Chile, from everywhere. This was the big problem this week,” he added.

“In the end, we did a really bad performance, and for this I’m disappointed.

“We can lose if a team plays better than us. That’s normal. But not like this.

“For a team like us which has won the title, the FA Cup, won the Charity Shield after 38 years, its normal the year after as champions could be difficult.

“But probably because we did some mistakes in the summer and we didn’t improve our team probably But now we have good players and I think we shouldn’t lose a match like this.”

MORE: Get TREBLE the odds on any sports bet. T&Cs apply

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

MORE: Back to The Sport Review homepage

The Sport Review
Liverpool v Tottenham: Enhanced odds, prediction and betting tips
The Sport Review
The ultimate 28 day transformation challenge
The Sport Review
Ballon d’Or 2016: Cristiano Ronaldo and Man Utd stars among top 11 favourites to win award
The Sport Review
Conor McGregor: 31 of the Notorious MMA’s most-memorable Instagram photos
The Sport Review
Man United WAGs: Meet Ander Herrera, Juan Mata and David De Gea’s girlfriends
The Sport Review
Roberto Firmino: 25 photos of the Liverpool forward’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
Chelsea player wages 2016: Can you guess how much each Chelsea player earns?
The Sport Review
Philippe Coutinho: 27 photos of Liverpool playmaker’s stunning wife
The Sport Review
London awaits, as Cilic and Goffin chase crucial points at the Swiss Indoors
The Sport Review
Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature in Premier League’s top-10 most-error prone players
The Sport Review
Jamie Redknapp delivers verdict on Liverpool’s 2-1 win over Tottenham