Sunday, 19 August 2012

Adam Johnson Snubbed at City as Sunderland Wait

Adam JohnsonAdam Johnson’s plea for more match action at Manchester City has fallen on deaf ears.

The winger hoped his impressive performance for England in the midweek friendly defeat of Italy might push his case for an increased involvement at the Etihad.

In the wake of the game, he made a point of explaining how hard he found it to show his best form without regular football.

He demanded four or five games on the bounce for City to prove he should be one of the first names on the team-sheet.

But Mancini scuppered his bid to play a prominent part for the Blues by dismissing his claim for game time ahead of today’s clash with Southampton.

Mancini said: “Adam is a player that deserves to play because he is a good player but sometimes it’s not easy for me because I can only play 11 players.“I can understand why he’s frustrated. This is normal. Every player that can’t play is frustrated.”

And to make matters worse for Johnson, the City boss appeared to rule out a loan move that would give him the opportunity to press his England claims.

“Now we have time to talk about this but it’s difficult for us because we need to have players,” added Mancini.

“We play every three days from whenever we start the Champions League for 10 months. This is not easy if we don’t have players.”

Johnson is likely to take his regular place on the bench as Mancini’s men look to get their defensive of the Premier League title off to a flying start against the Premier League rookies.

It is the kind of match that almost stumped City last season. 

Far too often they found it tricky to overcome lowly opponents and defeats at places like Swansea and Sunderland nearly cost them dear.

Mancini admitted: “We lost some games that maybe we can’t lose this time. 

''There are some moments when maybe you can’t win because the other team play better but you can’t lose a game like Everton, Swansea or Sunderland - where you didn’t deserve to lose."

The Italian talks of a stronger mentality this time round. He expects the transformation from title wannabes to medal winners will have an calming effect on his player’s nerves.

“Our mentality is better than last year,” he said. “But the year after you win the title is very hard. 

"It’s important to start the season well because every game will be difficult and you should forget what we did last year. It will be harder.”
New £12m signing Jack Rodwell is unlikely to start, he is one Mancini is preparing for the future, one of many the Italian plans to bring in as part of a five-year plan that accompanied a new contract signed in the summer.

But whilst other young bucks are expected to join, the City manager is still keen to bring in several experienced faces before the transfer window shuts.

He added: “Now it will be more difficult I think because in 10 days it will be impossible. But we will work hard in the last 10 days.”

See Adam Johnson in action:

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