City boss seeks end to Sunderland jinx
- Wed 26 Dec 2012, 8:36AM
- Posted by Mark Booth
Roberto Mancini revealed he has forgotten all about City’s New Year’s Day defeat to Sunderland in today’s paper round-up.
With the champions travelling to the Stadium of Light to take on Martin O’Neill’s side at 3pm today, the City chief has called on his players to end the Blues' hoodoo with the Black Cats.
"I've forgotten everything about Sunderland,” said Mancini in today’s Guardian.
“We lost the last two games there in the last minute. Always in the last minute. It's better that we don't think about what happened last time.
"Both games up there we've played very well, we had lots of chances to score. But we lost both games because we were trying to win in the last second.
“We were attacking and conceded on two counterattacks. That is our mentality. If we can play like we did last year we have a big chance. But we know it will be a tough game."
Former Blue Adam Johnson is expected to shake off his injury niggle to take his place in the Sunderland XI and Mancini paid tribute to the winger who left in the summer.
"I didn't say to him to leave,” declared Roberto, “Adam said he wanted to play always and for this reason I let him go. For me Adam was an important player but I understand the situation. He is young, he wants to play every game."
"To me it is not a problem," said the Serbia international. "I am always happy when I am playing, so this time of the season makes me happiest of all!
"My father and mother are here, so I won't miss my family
"I don't look at the two long away trips as a problem at all.
"Now we concentrate on the Sunderland game, and then we focus on Norwich - it's not a headache.
"The league in Italy stops, and we have a break, but playing here is no problem for me. I am looking forward to the next couple of games."
Finally, there’s a Christmas treat for City fans on the BBC website where Match of the Day commentator Guy Mowbray relived the final day of last season and that incredible match against QPR on May 13.
Join us on mcfc.co.uk for live text and audio commentary from Sunderland this afternoon, as well as all of the post-match views and reaction from the Stadium of Light.