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Roberto Mancini criticises 'nervous' Manchester City players

Manchester City took part in probably the most entertaining game in this round of the Champions League last night, drawing 1-1 with Napoli at the Etihad Stadium, but Roberto Mancini isn't very happy with his players, who he says were 'nervous'.

City were playing their first European Cup match since the late 1960s, and the pressure of the event appeared to get to the players, who after their fast start became hesitant and sloppy: they conceded a silly (although nicely taken) break-away goal, and even after equalising through a Kolarov free kick they could have given two more sloppy goals away thanks to weak back passes to their keeper. Mancini wants to see an improvement in two weeks' time, when they face Bayern Munich in Germany.

'We can do a lot better in the next game,' said the City boss. 'We will do better because it is the second game and we will not be so nervous. This game, we were so nervous – all the players. It surprised me. Maybe it was simply desire, or the pressure to play well, but they need to understand how important it is to play simply and that putting seven or eight players forward doesn't work.

'I told the guys to pay attention because Napoli were good on the counterattack but we gave away a stupid goal. You can't concede a goal like that. When we lost that ball we didn't have any midfielders in front of the defenders.

'For 10 minutes in the second half we conceded a lot of space and Napoli looked really dangerous. We need to improve. We have fantastic players but every game in the Champions League is difficult. It's important we play simple.'

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