Gareth Barry believes Manchester City can bounce back from their “worst performance of the season” to beat archrivals Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.
The 30-year-old insists the magnitude of their cup tie against United will help the Citizens pick themselves up after their 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Monday night.
The England international told The Mirror: “It was definitely our worst performance of the season. It’s tough to put your finger on anything in particular. I’m not sure we can blame Saturday too much. Obviously it’s a massive game, but our focus has always been our league position.
“At times like this you just have to bounce back. We need to concentrate on ourselves and come back from this.
“It should be easy to pick ourselves up because it’s such a massive game for the club. It’s a semi-final at Wembley.
“If you can’t get yourself up for that then you shouldn’t be in the game. So the fact it’s that sort of game coming up should maybe help us rather than hinder us.”
Hart not fearful of Utd.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart says his side are not scared of Manchester United, despite their poor record against their rivals.
The 23-year-old believes the Blues are due a bit of luck against their city rivals but insists it will take more than luck to beat Sir Alex Ferguson’s men when the two sides meet this weekend in the FA Cup semi-final.
The England international told The Daily Mail: “It’s another game of football. There’s no point being dictated to by what’s gone on in previous seasons. If we go off that, there’s no point us going there.
“Times have changed. It’s a new season, new players and hopefully a new winning mentality for City.
“We are owed one against them but that’s just not how it works unfortunately. I wish it did. But I’m sure they know we’re capable of beating them and will respect that.
“We’ll lock horns and it’s nice that it gets settled on the day. One will walk out of there in the Final and one will walk off a loser. It’s the tie everyone has wanted years for in the FA Cup.’
Mancini wants Balotelli to star.
Roberto Mancini has urged troubled striker Mario Balotelli to compensate for all of his controversies this season by becoming a hero in Manchester City’s FA Cup semi-final tie against Manchester United.
The 20-year-old is expected to start alongside Edin Dzeko on Saturday as captain Carlos Tevez looks certain to miss the fixture with a hamstring injury he picked up in the first-half of the Citizens 3-0 defeat to Liverpool on Monday night.
City boss Roberto Mancini believes the former Inter striker can make the difference against United and possibly send his side into the FA Cup final.
Mancini told The Telegraph: “Mario could be the hero. On Saturday, if he plays, he has a chance to do well and if he scores a goal that can bring us to the final, he can change his year.
“He has the big-game mentality to do it, but Mario knows he has to take more responsibility.
“In the game against Sunderland [earlier this month], he played very well, but against Liverpool on Monday, after it became 3-0, it was difficult for all of the players. But in the next six league games, and in the semi-final and final, I hope Mario can score goals.”