It's our fault! Silva pins blame for Man City's poor campaign on the players
23:00 GMT, 14 December 2012
Manchester City winger David Silva believes Roberto Mancini’s players must accept the blame for the club’s unconvincing form this season.
Barclays Premier League champions City are six points behind leaders Manchester United in the title race and are already out of Europe.
But Silva believes it is the players and not manager Mancini who must take responsibility.
Crossing the divide: Manchester City star David Silva meets Man United fan William Ray, aged 9, from Bury
Visit: Silva, meeting Zac Bramwell, aged 8 (right), said he was hoping the kids would enjoy the players' company
Helping hand: Silva introduces himself to Sam Ainsworth, from Salford
Silva said: 'We're are responsible for what has happened this season.
'The way we played in the Champions League – we all have to take the blame for that.
'It didn't start well in the Champions League and it became an uphill task for us, it didn't happen. But you can't just blame the manager.
'All I would say is that since I joined City up to now we have made progress with Roberto. All there has been is progress.
'In the Champions League, I can’t put my finger on what it was.
'All I can say is when I came to City they were looking to get in the top four and since then they have won the Premier League, the FA Cup, we have qualified for the Champions League.
'People can’t expect to win the Champions League straightaway. We’ve got very good players and we will get there.
'I want to win it with City but let’s go one step at a time.'
Silva spoke this week as he joined team-mates on a visit to sick youngsters at Manchester Children’s Hospital. All the players who visited took Christmas presents they had paid for themselves.
'We’ve been visiting the kids and hopefully we will get a smile out of them at this time for Christmas,' said Silva.
'I don’t have kids, but I have a big family and I know what it’s like for them to receive presents and to have something from someone that they want to see.'
Hi there: Silva with Tipu Rehman aged 3 from Bolton and Dylan Roberts, aged 6 from Didsbury (below)
Silva will be in the City team at Newcastle on Saturday lunchtime having recovered from injury to play in last weekend’s derby defeat to Manchester United.
He feels he is back to his best now but admitted that a long-term ankle problem is still bothering him.
'I’m feeling great again,' he added.
'Before the injury I was good, I was playing very good but then I got three weeks out.
'Now I can hopefully keep going in a good way.
'It is true I have played a lot of games in the last three or four seasons, with the European Championships, and World Cup and domestic league but you have to recover well after every game and just be there and that’s football and that’s the way it is.
Here you go: Silva gives Ethan Bird, aged 5, from Hull, a present during his visit, and meets Sam Doran from Bolton (below)
'I do have to keep on top of the ankle, always work on it and constantly care for it and there are parts of the season where I have to look after it a bit more. But its OK.'
With City six points behind United in the Premier League, Silva admitted that winning the title again from this position would be a huge achievement.
'It would be right up there with all the other big competitions that I've won,' he said.
'Winning the Premier League is seen as a big thing. It would be a great achievement to retain it.
'I've been lucky I've won a lot of medals but I'd still like to win more.'