Mancini makes Carling Cup promise


Roberto Mancini wants to take a step towards another Wembley appearance by getting a healthy lead over Liverpool in the Carling Cup semi-final first leg at the Etihad Stadium tonight.

The Italian tactician has rubbished suggestions that the competition is of little importance, saying that Manchester City are not big enough, or successful enough to treat any competition lightly.

The Citizens may have plenty of money, but despite last season's FA Cup triumph which ended the club's 35-year wait for a major honour, they don't have the kind of bulging trophy cabinet that many of their rivals possess.

"We are not a Manchester ­United and we are not Chelsea. We need to win ­everything, if possible," said Mancini. "It is important because we are in the semi-final and we are very close to Wembley. We want to play the final, if it is possible.

"Maybe in England the Carling Cup is regarded as the last trophy, after the ­Premier League and the FA Cup. But when you are there, you want to win. It is normal. It is another trophy for us to go after.

"If we win this trophy, it can be an ­important thing for the last three months of the season. I don't have pressure from them – ­absolutely not. They are interested that we win but there is no pressure."

After City were dumped out of the FA Cup by local rivals Manchester United last weekend, the Carling Cup has taken on more importance, and Mancini isn't underestimating the threat that Liverpool will pose despite beating them 3-0 in their Barclays Premier League clash at the start of the month.

"We played ­really well in that game," he added. "We know we will have a problem this time in the two legs because Liverpool are a strong team.

"It is always very difficult to play against them. It will be the same in these two games.

"In addition, we will be without some important players and probably it will be different – but we want to try and get a good result."

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