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China Daily Website

Mancini backs Wigan

Updated: 2013-04-19 08:20
By Agence France-Presse in Manchester, England ( China Daily)

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini backed Wigan to avoid relegation following his side's 1-0 win over the Latics.

A stunning late strike from Carlos Tevez denied Roberto Martinez's Wigan a point after a gutsy display from the visitor at Eastlands on Wednesday.

Wigan remains in the relegation zone, three points from safety, but Mancini said: "I think Wigan will stay up because they play very well, they do not deserve to be relegated and also because Roberto Martinez is a good manager, his team play very well.

"I think they are the best football team at the bottom, they do not play long ball, they take some risks.

"They fight every year down there, and for this reason I think they deserve to stay up.

"Wigan play better than us for 60 minutes, they had chances to score.

"In the last 25 minutes, we had chances to win but they probably do not deserve to lose."

City's win moves it to 13 points behind Premier League leader Manchester United, which was held to a draw at West Ham, but Mancini is under no illusions about the destiny of the title.

"It is over," said Mancini who is not buoyed by City's run of five wins in six league games which continues to delay United's 20th English league title celebrations.

The defeat keeps Wigan deep in trouble as it tries to catch fourth bottom Aston Villa.

"The mentality is very good from us, the performance is exactly what we needed," said Martinez.

(China Daily 04/19/2013 page22)

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