Manchester City news

Mancini expects tough Toon test

May 3, 2012
By ESPN staff

Roberto Mancini says Manchester City's game against Newcastle United on Sunday will be tougher than the Manchester derby.

Roberto Mancini
GettyImagesRoberto Mancini's side finished third in a tough Champions League group last season

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City are in pole position to end the season as champions after Monday's 1-0 victory over Manchester United, but they face a tough trip to Champions League hopefuls Newcastle this weekend that could yet derail their title bid.

With home game against relegation-threatened QPR on the final day, Mancini has warned his players of the size of the task ahead.

"Newcastle will be our hardest game - harder than United," he said. "It is strange but it is like this. They have had a fantastic season and are playing to get into the Champions League.

"Their manager is one of the best managers here and it will be a tough game. It is another Champions League final on Sunday. We have two - Newcastle and QPR. We have to keep a big concentration until May 13."

City midfielder James Milner, a former Newcastle player, echoed the sentiments of his manager.

"The game against United was massive and a big result for us, but we can't get carried away," Milner said in the Sun newspaper. "We've got two games left and it will be just as difficult, maybe even harder, going away to St James' at the weekend.

"That's obviously the next thing on our minds. If we can get a good result there then it's in our hands."

Meanwhile, Mancini said Carlos Tevez could well remain at the club beyond the end of the season.

Asked if Tevez could stay, Mancini said: "Why not? He has a contract, he is a good player, but now our concentration should be on Newcastle."