Roberto Mancini has called on his Manchester City team to tighten up in defence after their 4-2 FA Cup win over Leicester City on Tuesday.
Mancini’s side have conceded seven goals in their last three matches and were lucky to hang on for a 4-3 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Premier League on January 15.
They shipped two goals in each of their FA Cup third-round matches against Leicester and Mancini knows they will need to improve if they are to maintain a title challenge.
“Our defending has been so-so,” Mancini said.
“I don’t like 4-2 or 4-3 results. It is good for you but not good for me. I prefer 4-1s or 2-0s and 1-0s. Those are the results that win you titles.”
“We have conceded a lot of goals in the last three games, so we must be sure to work hard.”
Manchester City struggled to contain Leicester in the first meeting at the Walkers Stadium on January 9 and they were forced to contend with another spirited performance in the replay at Eastlands.
“It is always difficult in the FA Cup,” Mancini said.
“Leicester played very well in the first 20 minutes but after we played better and scored the three goals.”
“But again in the last 15 minutes, like against Wolves, we thought that it was finished and we conceded another one.”
Leicester boss Sven-Goran Eriksson was proud of his players for remaining in contention against one of the Premier League title challengers.
“We were in the game for 90 minutes at home, and 87 here, and that’s good,” Eriksson said.
“They were better than we were tonight, but we never gave up and from 3-1 down at half-time, coming back to 3-2, we’re in the game again and of course I’m happy with that.”
“It’s a little difficult. They have some better players than us, but I think we need to be proud.”
Former City manager Eriksson hoped his players would now reproduce their encouraging cup performances in the Championship.
“Maybe there will be some different type of games, but we have shown in these two games we can play good football and stand up to physically strong teams,” he said.
“The rest of the season is very much about that.”