Mancini not getting carried away over Man City’s Christmas No1
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini plays down the significance of his side's position at the top of the table
Roberto Mancini has played down the significance of Manchester City securing the Premier League top spot over Christmas following their victory over Stoke City on Wednesday.
Two goals from Sergio Aguero either side of Adam Johnson’s long-range effort gave Mancini’s men a comfortable 3-0 win at the Eithad Stadium to maintain their two-point lead at the summit of the top flight.
But the City manager has warned his side that the hard work “starts now” as they look to continue their bid for a first top-flight title since 1968 with a victory at West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day.
“I’m very satisfied because I think that we’ve done well until now,” Mancini told citytv. “But the difficulties start now because if you want to stay there on the top you’ve got to fight against top squads like United, Chelsea and Tottenham.
“I have said many times though that it is better to be top of the table in May than it is at this time of the year.”
Mancini’s side are yet to drop a point in the league at the Etihad Stadium this season and have not lost at Eastland in 12 months – and the Italian believes that a good home record is a vital building block for any title challenge.
“It is a good record and something about which we can be proud and shows we are improving and working hard,” he continued. “It is not easy to play a year without losing in a league as hard as the Barclays Premier League and while home form will be important in whether or not we win the league we must start improving our away record.
“Teams come here like Stoke did in this game and get men behind the ball and they make it very difficult. It was hard for 15 minutes to see where the first goal was coming from but once we got it the game opened up a little.
“I hope teams come here in future with fear because that helps us. For a long time teams have gone to Old Trafford with that kind of fear and now teams play differently against us too. That is a good sign.”