Mancini offers no guarantees

New City boss has difficult calls to make

Mancini: Tough decisions to make

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Roberto Mancini is offering none of Manchester City's stars guarantees as he looks to assess the merits of his squad ahead of the January transfer window.

The Italian will be given resources to tinker with his squad at the turn of the year, with speculation as to who will stay and go already having gone into overdrive.

With four games coming up in just 10 days over the festive period, Mancini must work quickly to decide where his side needs reinforcing.

Even captain Kolo Toure will come under Mancini's scrutiny, with the newly installed chief somewhat ambiguous when quizzed on who will lead his side in the long-term.

"I'm not thinking at the moment about who will be captain," said Mancini.

"I have a lot of players, important players, international players. For now it is Kolo Toure.

"I want to have a look at all the players before I make up my mind what we might need or not need in terms of players.

"I don't know if January will be busy or not. We will lose Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor for the African Cup of Nations.

"We have two or three bad injuries at the moment so that is my main concern."

Defensive headache

Mark Hughes' Achilles heel during his stint at the helm was always a leaky defence, with big name signings Joleon Lescott, Wayne Bridge and Toure failing to gel as a unit.

While Mancini accepts improvements have to be made at the back, he is loath to sacrifice his attacking principles.

"You cannot win games without scoring goals and my teams in Italy never played for 0-0 draws, but it is important to defend well too," he added.

"The games come thick and fast over Christmas and New Year, but we have five days to work with the back line. For me it is important that the team has a balance.

"To win games you have to defend well. It is most important that the squad stop conceding goals.

"The players can look forward to plenty of hard work and to improving their concentration levels. We have the players to be successful."