Roberto Mancini has warned his Manchester City side that they have to tighten up defensively or risk throwing away their chances of silverware this season.
City won through to the FA Cup fourth round with a 4-2 victory over Championship side Leicester in a third round replay at Eastlands on Tuesday. But the two goals they let in means they have conceded seven goals in just three matches. They drew 2-2 at Leicester, conceding from two crosses, and let in two late goals to set up a tense finish in a 4-3 win over Wolves at the weekend.
Mancini claims City's defence is putting too much pressure on their attack with the regularity they are allowing goals in. He insists that City have not had a chance to work on the problem because of the heavy schedule over the past few weeks. But he is sure that they have to iron out the defensive issues if they are to stay in contention for the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Europa League.
Mancini said: "In the last ten minutes we thought the game was finished and made some mistakes but it was important that we won this game. I don't like it, 4-3 or 4-2. It's good for the media and good for the supporters but I like 4-1, 1-0 or 2-0. If you don't concede a lot of goals, you will win something at the end of the season.
"If you concede goal, goal, goal in every game, you can't keep scoring three or four goals because it's impossible. I think that we should improve this. I think that it's only concentration but it's better that we start to work out the game on the defensive phase. In the last three or four weeks we have been playing constantly and we haven't had the chance to work hard but we must start again."
Former Manchester City manager Sven-Goran Eriksson believes his Leicester team have shown that they can challenge for a spot in the Premier League over the course of their two matches against City. He said: "They are one of the teams who can win the league, I'm sure of that. I hope they win the FA Cup because it's nice for us to go out against the team that win the FA Cup.
"I said to the players ten days ago that we are playing one of the best teams in this country and that means one of the best teams in Europe. In the first game against them we were exactly as good as they were and in the two games it was twice into the last minute and we should be proud of that."
The Swede has also dismissed reports that he is trying to bring New York Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry to the Foxes. Eriksson has signed Nigerian veteran striker Ayegbeni Yakubu on loan from Everton and has been linked with a series of other high-profile moves. He admits he discussed possible targets with his former colleague Hans Backe, who is the Red Bull coach, but is adamant he has not made an approach for former Arsenal striker Henry.
Eriksson added: "Sometimes with rumours coming out there's a little bit of truth in it. This time, no. I asked the manager of New York Red Bulls, Hans Backe, who was here with me, when the league finished a long time before Christmas if he had some good players he wanted to give me on loan for two months.
"He said he hadn't and that was it. I have never spoken to Thierry or his agent about anything so I don't know where that is coming from. I don't think he would have come because he would go to the Premier League if he wanted to play football during the break."
City took the lead through Carlos Tevez before Paul Gallagher equalised from the penalty spot. Patrick Vieira and Adam Johnson put City in control before half-time before Tevez had a penalty saved. Lloyd Dyer halved City's lead before Aleksander Kolarov killed Leicester off with a fourth goal.