Mancini - Start of crucial run
City boss thinks December and January will define season
By William Esler. Last Updated: November 19, 2011 1:19pm
Roberto Mancini - December and January will define season
Roberto Mancini thinks the next two months will make or break their season as Manchester City start an intense fixture period.
On Saturday, the last two unbeaten teams in the Premier League meet when City host Newcastle before Mancini's men head to Napoli in a crucial Champions League clash.
A trip to Anfield is next for the Italian's side the following weekend before they face Arsenal two days later in the Carling Cup.
City have used 26 different players so far this season and being able to rotate players could be crucial in keeping the team fresh.
Mancini said: "I think the crucial moment will be now - December, January, these two months. I think it will be very hard because we also play every three days if we win against Arsenal in the Carling Cup.
"We will probably lose two players for the African Nations Cup - Kolo (Toure) and Yaya (Toure). They are very important players.
"(Newcastle) is a big game because it is the first game. It is important we restart the Barclays Premier League very well.
"We are top and we want to stay there. If we start well tomorrow, I think it will give us confidence for Naples."
Mancini also feels that being made favourites by the bookies to win the league has not added more pressure to his squad and thinks it has made them more confident.
He added: "I don't think there is pressure. They are confident in this moment. But if you want to continue to stay at the top, we need to continue to work very well.
"The season is long, it is hard. We have been lucky because we haven't had a big problem with injuries.
"It is important to have this luck for the future, to work well, to be confident.
"Of course we will have a difficult moment, it is impossible to in one year not to have any problems, but it is important to continue to believe in ourselves."