Roberto Mancini says Manchester City can only win the English Premier League if they start keeping more clean sheets.
City have conceded in each of their last six games and sit eight points behind league-leaders and bitter rivals Manchester United ahead of their game at home to West Brom on Saturday.
Mancini said: “We have conceded a lot of goals which is a problem so we need to change our ways. I think we have the right mentality but we have played some tough games recently. It is important we try to work together and don’t concede a goal.”
“With the squad we have, if we don’t concede a goal, I think we can always go and score one. For a top team it is very important to keep clean sheets. I would prefer it if we were boring for a few games and won 1-0.”
“Our players know that every game will be a battle at this level. But when we play good football on the ground, we know we will win the game. My mentality does not change because I always want to win.”
Mancini’s men have conceded eleven goals in the last six and goalkeeper Joe Hart has come under fire from supporters. But the Italian does not blame the England shot-stopper for the recent defensive lapses.
He said: “For me, Joe Hart is the best goalkeeper in England and I won’t make a change because for me he is the best. The problem for a goalkeeper is if he makes a mistake you could lose 1-0 but for a striker, if you have a bad game it could finish 0-0.”
Micah Richards (concussion), Mario Balotelli (knee) and Adam Johnson (ankle) are all out and Nigel de Jong (ankle) is doubtful.