Mancini will stick with Pantilimon

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini will not change his decision to leave Joe Hart out of his side for the FA Cup final.

Last Updated: 06/05/13 at 18:31 Post Comment   

Costel Pantilimon: Set to start a Wembley on Saturday

Costel Pantilimon: Set to start a Wembley on Saturday

Mancini has made it clear the England number one will not be in his starting line-up to face Wigan at Wembley on Saturday, preferring to reward Costel Pantilimon for his performances in getting City to Wembley.

The Romanian has played in all of City's domestic cup fixtures this season, and Mancini believes it would be unfair to alter his selection policy, despite Hart's disappointment.

When asked if he may be tempted to pick Hart for the final, the Italian said: "I don't think so, we decided this at the start of the season. Pantilimon deserves to play.

"Joe won the FA Cup two years ago, he won the Premier League last year, he is the best keeper in England and I think he should be happy his second keeper can play in a big game.

"I know he wants to play but we decided at the start of the season it was important for Pantilimon to play in the two cups."

City stuttered to a goalless draw with Swansea on Saturday, with Edin Dzeko and David Silva missing great chances to claim all three points.

Mancini admitted Dzeko's miss from four yards summed up a season where City's lack of goals has cost them; the Blues have found the net 61 times so far this season, compared to 87 at this stage last term.

But the Italian does not believe the decision to sell Mario Balotelli to AC Milan in January played a part in their failure to retain the league title.

Balotelli had scored just two league goals before moving to the San Siro, but has been in prolific form since, scoring eight in nine appearances.

Mancini said: "For Mario it was better to go back to Italy and even with Mario I think the season would have been the same."

He added: "It is difficult when you consider why you don't score enough goals. Last year we scored 20 goals more than this season and we are missing them, it's too many.

"If we had scored another 10-20 goals we could have been fighting for the league."

But Mancini was cagey when asked if a striker was on his summer shopping list.

"We can't know which player can score 25 goals next year. If we knew that we would be magicians," he said.

"We have good players and were unlucky this season. Now it is important we win the FA Cup and then try to improve our team."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet


Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e was right to leave, but not just because of the money City were coming into. If I remember rightly he had a reasonable amount of chances to shine at City, but he never passed the bloody ball. Loads of aimless dribbles and 40 yard shots and not much else. I would say that if he had learnt to be a bit more of a team player he may have done better at City.

bright and edgy
Sturridge: Right to leave City

O

h! And.... has it gone in!?' Well John, it is quite literally your job to tell me, so stop phrasing it as a question.

ajsr1982
Eye On The Experts: John Motson

M

an who resembles bond villain complains about spies ....brillliant

mrjackson
Palace deny spying accusation

Footer 365

Probert to referee FA Cup final

Lee Probert will referee the FA Cup final between Arsenal and Hull next month, the Football Association has announced.

Premier League: Liverpool upbeat on Daniel Sturridge's injury ahead of Norwich game

Liverpool are optimistic that striker Daniel Sturridge will be fit for this weekend's game against Norwich.

Premier League: Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner hails Paul Lambert in bullish statement

Aston Villa chairman Randy Lerner has issued a bullish statement in reaction to the suspension of two of his coaches.

Mail Box

Fatigue No Excuse For Giroud Being Cr*p

We have a long mail on why Giroud isn't very good at all, plus some more thoughts on neutrality. Plus, who do you want out of you club this summer and Liverpool moving buses...

Will Liverpool Cope With Parked Buses?

That's the real problem they're going to face next year, says one Man United fan who's already looking forward to the end of this campaign. Plus, thoughts on neutrality...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property