Given defends Mancini
Shay Given has leapt to the defence of Roberto Mancini following Manchester City's elimination from the FA Cup.
Last Updated: 25/02/10 7:11pm
Shay Given has leapt to the defence of Roberto Mancini following Manchester City's elimination from the FA Cup on Wednesday night.
City were beaten in their fifth-round replay by Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, cranking up the pressure on the Italian boss.
Speculation has intimated a number of the club's senior players are not happy with Mancini's coaching methods but this has been refuted by Given.
Mancini secured victories in six of his first seven games in charge after succeeding Mark Hughes but has since recorded only two wins in eight, while City are without a win in four ahead of Saturday's Premier League showdown at Chelsea.
Coming after their Carling Cup semi-final loss to Manchester United, the defeat was a blow to the lofty ambitions of the club's owners, which include a place in next season's Champions League.
"We were disappointed, obviously, after last night - it was a huge disappointment for the players, the club and the supporters," said Given.
"But what can you say? We're knocked out of the cup and we have to move on."
Asked if he thought it was too early for people to be questioning Mancini's position, Given said: "Yes. It is a big club, obviously, and there is huge expectation at the club now, but we have to just try and take a deep breath and try and finish the season on a high.
"We are very much in contention for fourth spot and we've got to focus on that.
"Hopefully we can do that and then reassess things in the summer."