Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has revealed his regret at failing to bring in defensive cover in the January transfer window.
Injury to captain Vincent Kompany has left the Premier League champions short at the back, meaning that, once out of favour, Kolo Toure has come back into the Italian’s plans – starting the last four games.
Mancini admits that they made a mistake in failing to bring in reinforcements, he said, “Probably we made a mistake because when we knew of this problem we were four days to the close of the market.
“Probably then we should maybe have bought another defender. Also, last year he had this problem, for one month he didn’t play. This is a big problem. For me we made a mistake in this case.
“We had a chance because we had one good defender but we didn’t think that Vinny would stay out for 40-45 days.”
Mancini revealed on Friday that he is hopeful of Kompany returning in time to play in the Newcastle game on March 30, despite the prospect of surgery remaining on the cards.
Mancini added, “He has started to run and we hope that he will be ready for Newcastle, his calf was tired but he didn’t have any problems.
“But we don’t want to take a risk at this moment because we have one game and after it is the international break. It is better we wait.”
Despite City’s lack of defensive cover, centre-back Joleon Lescott, who was left out of the England squad by Roy Hodgson when he announced his squad on Thursday, remains out in the cold.
The City boss said, “I love Joleon Lescott. Seriously, because Joleon is a top-quality man and a serious, serious professional player.
“He is perfect as a man and as a player. After I can decide if he stays on the bench but this is another story.”
When asked if he could understand why Rio Ferdinand was preferred to Lescott by Hodson, the Italian answered, “I don’t know. But I read all the newspapers pushed for Rio Ferdinand.
“One manager should take a decision, he has a lot of defenders. I don’t know but Joleon is a good player.”