Man City: Roberto Mancini dismisses sacking claims

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Mancini castigates his critics

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has said critics who believe he should be sacked if the club lose to Leeds on Sunday "don't understand football".

The 48-year-old's job had been queried as last weekend's loss to Southampton led to them falling 12 points behind leaders Manchester United.

"All the people who talk about this don't understand football," he said.

"In three years we are always on the top - we have won three trophies, we have the chance to win more this year."

Mancini continued: "If Manchester City should sack me, the other 19 teams in the Premier League should be without a manager."

Since he replaced Mark Hughes in December 2009, Mancini ended City's 35-year wait to lift a trophy when he won the FA Cup in 2011 and followed that success 12 months later with a first league title in 44 years.

The Italian has come under pressure this season, however, after overseeing a second successive group stage exit in the Champions League and a stuttering defence of their league crown.

Speaking to BBC Sport, former City and England defender Danny Mills had argued that an FA Cup fifth-round defeat to Championship outfit Leeds at Etihad Stadium, coupled with a disappointing campaign elsewhere, could lead to Mancini being dismissed with immediate effect.

When told he had been criticised by former players in the media, Mancini joked - with reference to the lack of silverware won before his arrival - that the people who said such things were "probably the players that won a lot of trophies in the history".