Mancini slams fixture congestion

Roberto Mancini has lamented Manchester City’s fixture pile-up ahead of their trip to Fulham on Sunday.

City’s trip to Craven Cottage is the first of three fixtures in a week.

“We are not machines,” Mancini said.

“I have never seen one team play every two days in February or March.”

“It’s not just impossible for us, it is for every team.”

“I think that here we should change something because for all players, for English players and every time after England play World Cup, European Cup it is a problem because all the players are tired.”

“I think we should have more respect for the players because it is impossible.”

“We should use these two days to recover very well and I hope we can be fresh against Fulham.”

“We should try to win every game that’s possible, we will try to win but it is very hard to play so many games.”

“I think that we are very tired, it is important some players recover for Sunday and it will be a difficult game because Fulham play very well at this moment in time.”

“It will be a different game but I hope we can play like we did at Fulham.”

“Bobby Zamora is fit again and is an important player for them. It will be very difficult for us.”

Reserve goalkeepers Shay Given and Gunnar Nielson both sustained long-term injuries this week, leaving just Joe Hart and the unfancied Stuart Taylor as cover.

City faced a similar crisis last season when they were forced to sign Marton Fulop on an emergency loan after receiving special dispensation.

“Last year we were unlucky, it is impossible that we are as unlucky again, we have Stuart Taylor but I hope Joe Hart can play every game,” Mancini said.

“We have I don’t know how many players injured; I hope that Joe doesn’t have any problems. He is young and I hope that he can be strong.”

Vincent Kompany (hip) and James Milner (hamstring) are both doubtful.

Nigel De Jong (ankle), Adam Johnson (ankle) and Micah Richards (calf) are all definitely missing.