Andy Gray: Man City boss Mancini can cope with title race pressure ambassador Andy Gray says Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini can handle the pressure of the title race

By Andy Gray
roberto mancini
Roberto Mancini's side trail league leaders Manchester United by three points PA Photos

roberto mancini

Let’s get one thing straight, Roberto Mancini is far from wet behind the ears – and this battle for the title is going down to the wire.

The Italian has got bags of experience in dealing with life at the top of our league and has won titles in Italy.

I actually think he’s handled this little spat between Patrick Vieira and Sir Alex Ferguson pretty well thus far – it’s only been a bit of handbags anyway.

Mancini’s not going to fold under the pressure, but we don’t know about his players – and in the next six or seven games we will find out whether they have what it takes to stay in the hunt and actually go on and win it.

Manchester United are favourites and rightly so at the moment, but I wouldn’t count City out of it. I thought City would win it from day one and I’m not going to change that view at the moment. I still think they’re capable of doing it.

Sergio Aguero’s injury was probably just a silly one, he was probably just messing about on the training ground with some of his mates and turned an ankle or did something silly that could have been avoided.

And that’s very frustrating when you get to this point of the season, to lose your top man to something like that.

But it gives Carlos Tevez another opportunity to get a bit more of a game, maybe a full half. When you’ve got Edin Dzeko, Mario Balotelli and Tevez, you should have enough to cope when you’re playing at home.

Away from the title race it’s been very encouraging to see Fernando Torres return to something resembling his best form.

His movement was good against Benfica, his touch was decent, he had one or two half chances, he created the goal, I think he worked hard enough and it was certainly another step in his stage to recovery.

I hope he can still be the striker Chelsea paid £50m for. He’s 28 now, so he’s right smack bang in his prime. So there is no reason why he shouldn’t get back to his best.

The ability is still within him. I get the impression it is as much a mental thing as anything for the lad at the moment and if he can conquer that then I think he has the talent to get back to somewhere near what he was – but he is not there yet.

I don’t think Didier Drogba necessarily has to go for Torres to improve. They obviously don’t play together. Drogba’s 33, he is not the future of Chelsea and I think that Fernando, at 28, might be more of that.

I think it’s something the new coach will have to address when he comes in. But I think there might be a number of Chelsea players leaving in the summer and whoever takes the job will have to re-stock or replenish the talent pool at Chelsea in the summer, it is just whether they decide to include Torres in their plans or wave him goodbye.

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