Wednesday 23 August 2017

Di Matteo heaps pressure on Mancini

West Brom head coach Roberto Di Matteo has piled more pressure onto struggling Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, saying the multi-millionaires from Eastlands "have to win" when the two teams clash at the Hawthorns on Sunday.

After a great start to the season the Baggies sit just two points behind their opponents in the Barclays Premier League, despite having a fraction of their budget.

Meanwhile, Mancini's team have lost their last three matches.

Nevertheless, Di Matteo does not believe his side will be favourites.

When asked that question, he replied: "Are you joking?

"I think City have to win, and we would like to win. I think that's the situation.

"They are the favourites, and we would just like to continue to play the way we've been playing and be competitive. That's our ambition."

Di Matteo added that self-belief will not be an issue for his team, even though they could be without several key players due to injuries and suspension.

He said: "I think we've been playing with confidence for a while now, but we're going to have a few players out.

"We'll have to shuffle the team around a little bit, but I've been pleased with the way we've approached every game since the opening match."

Despite City's recent poor run of results, Di Matteo says they should not be ruled out of the title race.

"Every team is going to lose a game or two during a long season," he said.

"But you look at their squad and the players they have in the squad, it's quite impressive in my opinion."

Midfielder Jerome Thomas echoed his manager's sentiments.

"I think with the squad they have got they have to be challengers," he said.

"With their spending power, I'm sure they'll bring in some new faces in January as well.

"I don't think you can write them off yet."

Thomas added that his team's tough start to the season has conditioned the players for big matches such as the one on Sunday.

He said: "We're ready to play any team at any point after we had those big away games at the start of the season.

"Especially with them coming to our ground, where we've been performing well, we're hoping for another good display."

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