Roberto Mancini vows to speak his mind

Mancini vows to speak his mind
© PA Photos
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini challenges his players to be accountable when they fail to perform after seeing their title defence come off the rails.

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has defended his public criticism of players and insisted that his team need to be accountable for their performances on the pitch.

City's title defence has faltered this season, with Mancini's men currently 15 points behind Premier League leaders Manchester United.

The Italian, who has criticised Samir Nasri and Joe Hart for their displays in recent weeks, believes that his words should serve as a wake-up call to City players who have failed to meet last season's standards.

He told The Sun: "I'm not rude with my players. I say what I think sometimes because I think it could be good for my players to understand they could play better, they can do more.

"I say this because I don't lie. I say what I think and sometimes it's important that one player takes his responsibility. When you are a top player, you earn a lot of money and you should play at 100%.

"Maybe players are sensitive but I am sensitive sometimes. When they don't play well, I'm sensitive. When I was a player, I always took responsibility. When I didn't play well, I said, 'Sorry, I didn't play well and will do my best in the next game' and it should be like this."

City travel to Aston Villa tonight in search of three points to keep their faint tile hopes alive.

Manchester City's Carlos Tevez shows his frustration during the Manchester derby on December 9, 2012
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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