Soccer: Mancini knows where problems lie

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists he knows where his team's problems lie after their fitful start to the season. Photo / Getty Images.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists he knows where his team's problems lie after their fitful start to the season. Photo / Getty Images.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists he knows where his team's problems lie after their fitful start to the season.

City's 1-1 Champions League draw with Borussia Dortmund in Manchester today extended their poor run to just three wins in nine matches.

Mancini's team have just one point from their two Group D matches and are four points adrift of leaders Chelsea in the Premier League.

After being so solid on their way to the Premier League title last season, they have also failed to keep a single clean sheet in their nine matches so far.

Mario Balotelli's late penalty earned a point against the Germans but the performance gave Mancini real concern.

The Italian refused to expand on what he thinks is currently going wrong for his team.

Mancini, whose team host Sunderland on Saturday before the international break, is sure he can find a solution to his team's issues and has promised he will rectify their issues quickly.

He said: "I know the problem and I will resolve it very quickly. It's my problem and my job and I will solve this problem.

"If we want to play in the Champions League we have to play better.

"We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just pass. Champions League is another situation - different from the championship.

"We have to run and fight. It's not enough to just have quality. If you don't run like Dortmund did, then you have a problem.

"Our performance was very poor but I think that in the end of the group this point could be very important."

Mancini's plans for the Sunderland game have also been hit by Javi Garcia limping out of the Dortmund game with a hamstring problem.

City failed to progress to the knock-out phase last season after collecting just a point from their opening two group matches.

They now face a double header with Ajax before a home game against Real Madrid and a trip to Dortmund.

England goalkeeper Joe Hart, 25, who was outstanding against Jurgen Klopp's side admits his team's prospects of qualifying would have been slim without Balotelli's late penalty at the Etihad Stadium.

He said: "I hope it's important and not a wasted effort.

"I hope the effort we've made in both of those games isn't wasted and we can focus on qualifying but it shows what a group we're in.

"It would have been nice to win the game but we've come out alive and the group's still alive for us."

-AAP

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