Referees are not biased, they're just tired! City boss Mancini defends over-worked officials
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini accepts decisions will go against his club – because referees can also get tired.
Mancini feels his team have suffered a series of injustices lately, most recently after conceding a costly penalty in Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final exit at Liverpool.
That incident occurred after striker Mario Balotelli was retrospectively banned for four matches for violent conduct for an offence not punished on field by the referee against Tottenham last weekend.
Dubious: Micah Richards was penalised for handball by referee Phil Dowd
City have also had to deal without captain Vincent Kompany for four matches this month after a controversial sending-off.
Mancini said: 'I think playing a lot of games is also difficult for them [referees].
'The refs sometimes are tired – to play every two or three days is difficult for the players, and for the referee.
'The referee is like me, like the players. They can be tired sometimes.'
Mancini, however, does not think his team are the victims of any conspiracy, only bad luck.
He said: 'Yes, yes – in December and January, it is only this way.'
Defender Micah Richards, who conceded the penalty at Anfield for handball when the ball rebounded off his foot on to his arm, also believes City have had more than their fair share of bad decisions.
Come on ref: Roberto Mancini has had a long running battle with the officials
The 23-year-old suggests the club's now prominent position, as Barclays Premier League leaders, might be costing them the benefit of any doubt.
Richards said: 'I wouldn't say everyone is against us, but when a team comes from nowhere and is doing so well, top of the league, you are going to get decisions against you.
'We don't think everyone is against us. We have coped well getting this far in the season, and you could argue some decisions could have been dealt with better but we can't dwell on them.'
City could only manage a 2-2 draw in the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final at Anfield and went out 3-2 on aggregate.
Richards believes many neutrals are now willing City to fail because of their success and wealth.
He said: 'The better you do, you will always have more people following you, more people talking about you.
'Sometimes it will mean people not liking you, but we have to just try to do what we do best, which is winning games.
Blow: City lost Vincent Kompany to suspension for this challenge on Nani
'We are not always going to get the decisions that we want but we can't keep moaning about it as it won't get us anywhere.
'We will just have to make sure we win games and the referee doesn't have to make a decision – to win it without that.
'It would be nice for referees to give us a little bit more, but we don't want to moan about it too much.
'I wouldn't say there is a conspiracy but no-one likes a team that is doing really well, especially when two or three seasons ago it was a top-eight team and is now leading the pack.
'Not everyone will be happy, but it's down to us to get on with it and not get involved.'
City are not in FA Cup action this weekend but travel to Everton in the Premier League on Tuesday.
Richards said: 'We just have to move forward and we have a good game with Everton to look forward to next week, so we need to go there and look for three points.'