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Mancini facing sack at Manchester City

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Less than a year after winning the Premier League title with Manchester City, Roberto Mancini is facing the sack as team manager. After presiding over a desultory City performance in the Cup Final at Wembley, losing 1-0 to Wigan, it seems that the City owners have lost faith in the Italian.

Mancini may stay in charge until the end of the season, or may go immediately. Few will be surprised by the decision. It has been a disappointing season for City. The Cup Final defeat was in keeping with a lacklustre defence of their title and an early exit from the Champions League. Manuel Pellegrini, who fared much better in the Champions League with unfashionable Malaga, will take over at City.

Mancini was angry that the club were manoeuvring to get rid of him even before the Cup Final, an act that must have diminished his authority with the players who were clearly below par at Wembley. Speaking to reporters after the defeat he appeared to blame the press office for failing to issue a clear message of support.

"The people who work for the press office, I don't know why they don't stop this rubbish," he said. "You wrote this for the six months, and for the last two weeks. It's too much. I don't understand why." The reason was clearly that the press office could not deny Mancini was on the way out when it was true.

"For football I talk and I take responsibility in the press," Mancini said, unwilling to talk about his departure. "If it's true, it will be true. I don't know. For me, I am happy to work for Manchester City. I'm happy with my job, I'm happy about what we did in three years. I am disappointed now that we lost this game."

Mancini can feel justified in believing he has been treated unfairly. City fans will remember him as the man who delivered them a first Premier League title.

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