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Manchester City boss Mancini hits back at tactics criticism

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has hit back at critics following his side's 3-1 defeat to Ajax in the UEFA Champions League.

The Italian was the target of criticism after the defeat to the Eredivisie title holders left them with little hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.

When asked if he had endured a difficult couple of days, Mancini responded to reporters: "For you or for me?"

Speaking ahead of Saturday's fixture against Swansea City, Mancini added, "If you are a top player, it's not important which system you use. If you don't understand, you can't play for a top team."

Micah Richards claimed after the match that City had not worked on Mancini's 3-5-2 system, and that the players were not used to the formation. Despite Richards' criticism, Mancini has defended his player.

"I don't want to speak about Micah, because I don't think he said this," Mancini said. "He answered questions. It's not important. I understand you should write about this, but for me it's not important what Micah said after the game.

"With this system, every time we change the result. Maybe Micah doesn't know this, because it is the first game for him after he was out for two months. Probably he has worked less than the other players but maybe the next time when we play this system, he will understand it better."
 
The Manchester City boss remains confident that his side is able to get results by playing just three at the back, and he insists that this is not just something that he started experimenting with this season.

"The players know the system. When you are on the bench and 2-1 away, the manager should do something from the bench," Mancini said. "We wanted to play more offensively and we conceded a third because of a mistake. I repeat, this system we played a minimum of 15 times last year. It is not a new system."

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