Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has backed Wigan Athletic to stay in the Premier League after his side claimed a narrow 1-0 victory over the Latics.

Roberto Martinez's side were dominant for large spells of the match but were hit by a late Carlos Tevez strike.

Manchester City's win leaves the Premier League champions 13 points adrift of neighbours Manchester United, while Wigan Athletic remain in the relegation zone.

Mancini said on Wigan's performance: "Wigan didn't deserve to lose.

"They will stay up. They played very well and don't deserve to get relegated."

The Italian blamed his side's lacklustre performance on Sunday's energy-sapping FA Cup tie against Chelsea, despite making numerous changes to his starting line-up.

Right-back Micah Richards - who was handed his first start for the Citizens since the end of October - was one of five players to come into the side.

Mancini's side must avoid defeat against Tottenham at the weekend if they want to stop rivals Manchester United from winning the league against Aston Villa on Monday.


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