Mancini's silent night as City dismiss mind games

Updated: 25 March 2012 14:17 IST

David Platt insisted Roberto Mancini will not be affected by mind games as the chase for the Premier League title reaches its climax.

Mancini's silent night as City dismiss mind games
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Stoke-On-Trent, United Kingdom:

David Platt insisted Roberto Mancini will not be affected by mind games as the chase for the Premier League title reaches its climax.

Mancini was furious after Manchester City's 1-1 draw at Stoke, despite Yaya Toure's equaliser hoisting his team back to the Premier League summit on goal difference from Manchester United.

The City boss refused to shake the hand of Stoke manager Tony Pulis after the game and also declined to carry out any post-match interviews.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson had sniped at their bitter rivals by claiming bringing back Carlos Tevez smacked of desperation, but first-team coach Platt is convinced the Italian can handle the psychological warfare.

"What are mind games? At the end of the day the team who wins the league will be said to have won the mind games. The be-all and end-all is about 11 players going out on the pitch and getting results."

"Words don't win leagues. The issue of why we're not pulling clear in the title race is that both teams have done well. The fact we're not pulling away is down to United having a good season."

"It's not a case of Roberto being too angry as such, I think he's just worried he might say something that gets him in hot water. It was really about the way the game unfolded. It's difficult when you come here and look for a bit of attention."

Toure's spectacular equaliser spared Mancini from a costly defeat in the title race to take City above United on goal difference for at least 48 hours, with Ferguson's men entertaining Fulham on Monday.

But City have now gone five games without a win in the Potteries and it could have been even worse after Peter Crouch's goal of the season contender.

Toure, the Ivory Coast international, said: "It's important now to not panic. It is always difficult to play Stoke and the important thing is to work hard and believe in ourselves."

"I think we didn't deserve more than a draw because Stoke played very well. We made ourselves a lot of problems, but it's important to keep going and wait until Monday, to see what United do."

Stoke's deserved point came at the end of a challenging sequence of fixtures that has seen them travel to Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs in succession.

Crouch's spectacular goal could have earned them a significant scalp but Pulis claims his team are inching closer towards their first ever top 10 finish.

"We've just played three games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs away from home on the run. We didn't get home until 2.30 in the morning on Thursday and it was a fantastic performance from our players," said Pulis.

"We haven't got the wealth of other clubs, especially the team we've just played. We're desperate to get in the top 10 for the first time and this point takes us closer."

Topics : Football Inter Milan Arsenal Mark Hughes Alex Ferguson Manchester City Yaya Toure Steven Gerrard Birmingham City Liverpool Chelsea Everton English Premier League
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