Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insisted his side deserved at least a draw following their 1-1 result at Notts County in the FA Cup.
City fell behind on Neal Bishop’s header on the hour, but new signing Edin Dzeko ensured the visitors would host a replay at the Eastlands – provisionally scheduled for February 19 – with his first goal in English football 10 minutes from time.
Mancini admitted he would have preferred to have secured a fifth-round berth at the first time of asking, but said he expected his side to account for their League One opponents in the replay.
“We didn’t deserve to lose but this is the FA Cup,” Mancini said after the game.
“The other team fought – that’s normal. If you don’t play hard in these games you can lose them.”
“We didn’t want a replay before the game but I am happy to have one now.”
“The pitch was very hard but it was important to play football.”
“The replay will be different. We must play well if we want to win but it will be a different game – our pitch is different. We can play our football on it.”
County manager and former Manchester United midfielder Paul Ince said his players had done enough to deserve a replay, though he admitted City’s superiority had nearly won out.
“I’ve never seen the clock go so slow in my life,” Ince told ITV Sport.
“It was a fantastic team performance. I thought we deserved it. We started slow to be fair. Once we got in to them and played at the right tempo we got into it.”
“You do get tired, we don’t have their ability but we showed character. It was a great opportunity at our own place, and we deserve another crack.”