• Premier League

No grudge with Mancini - Nasri

ESPN staff
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Samir Nasri has said he does not blame Roberto Mancini for his poor form last season and does not hold a grudge against the former Manchester City manager.

Mancini was openly critical of Nasri and said he wanted to "punch" him when the Frenchman did not play to his potential in a campaign when he did not score a league goal between August and April.

But the former Arsenal player, who said his troubles began at Euro 2012, said he has accepted responsibility for his below-par performances and is not worried that Mancini spoke of thumping him.

He said: "It was just a word. Managers have different ways of working. Some like to say things in the press to make players react and some like to say things face to face.

"Some players see things in the press, it touches their ego and they react. Everything he was saying was difficult for me to accept. It wasn't his fault; it was just me because I wasn't in a good place.

"It was a tough season. In my head, I wasn't the same. I didn't play well for City and lost my spot in the squad and at the end of the year, I looked at my season and realised I was not myself."

Nasri also said City are one of Europe's finest teams on their own turf.

City have a 100% Premier League record at the Etihad, and Sunday's 6-0 thrashing of Tottenham means they are now averaging more than four goals a game at home.

And Nasri believes few teams on the continent are as effective in front of their own crowd as City, who have beaten Norwich 7-0, CSKA Moscow 5-2, Wigan 5-0, Newcastle 4-0 and Manchester United 4-1.

He said: "At home, we are one of the best in Europe. It is not just the game against Tottenham - we had good performances against CSKA Moscow, Norwich and Manchester United.

"In the first six games in the league at home, we have scored 26 goals. It is the best [goalscoring] start in 50 years in the Premier League, so I think it is really good what we are doing at home."

Nasri is set to face Viktoria Plzen at home in the Champions League on Wednesday, with City having already clinched qualification to the knockout stages for the first time.

They failed to get out of their group in each of the past two years, but the France international feels they are now a stronger side and have learned from their past failures.

He explained: "In the last two seasons, the group was tough. I think we have improved as a team and have more experience in the Champions League. The last two years was the first two editions for Man City. You cannot buy experience. Now we are better as a team."

Bayern Munich have also qualified for the last 16, and Nasri hopes City can overhaul the defending champions and top the pool.

He added: "We are all in a good mood and we want to win [against Plzen] because we are still going to fight to be top of the group."

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