Roberto Mancini will take fight to Alex Ferguson, says David Platt

Manchester City boss Mancini will take fight to title rival Ferguson, says Platt

Time will tell if Roberto Mancini
proves to be Sir Alex Ferguson's most enduring rival in the Premier
League, but he is certainly the feistiest.

When Mancini snarled at Steven
Gerrard: 'I say what I want' after the pair clashed over Liverpool
full-back Glen Johnson's two-footed tackle against City's Joleon Lescott
last week, it was just the latest in a number of confrontations the
Italian has had in his two years at the Etihad Stadium.

Strength in depth: Platt is confident the team can maintain their title challenge

Strength in depth: Platt is confident the team can maintain their title challenge

Other 'victims' include Carlos Tevez, told he would never play for the club again after refusing to warm up against Bayern Munich, Mario Balotelli, branded 'stupid' after a red card against Dynamo Kyiv, and Everton manager David Moyes, who physically grappled with Mancini on the touchline when their teams clashed in 2010.

City coach David Platt has
known Mancini since they were
Sampdoria team-mates nearly 20
years ago. Despite having been
to a World Cup with Bryan Robson and played in an Arsenal side skippered
by Tony Adams, Platt admits there is nobody who can match his current
manager for personality.

'I can't remember anyone with his
strength of mind. His desire to win is like a drug,' said the former
England captain. 'He is a perfectionist and can get angry with a bad
pass, let alone losing. He will get angry with somebody making a
mistake, but it's important to understand that he will put that anger
away before the next game for the good of the team.'

Waiting game: City are in training ahead of the Monday kick-off with Wigan

Waiting game: City are in training ahead of the Monday kick-off with Wigan

Waiting game: City are in training ahead of the Monday kick-off with Wigan

Mancini's temperament is under the spotlight like never before following City's two home defeats by Manchester United and Liverpool in cup ties in the past week. Given that the Premier League has always been City's priority, a third loss in a row at Wigan Athletic tomorrow night will be the hardest to take.

Platt added: 'I suspect there will be more views of him [Mancini] on the bench during a game and people will be commenting on how he looks. But he won't change. If he looks angry, it won't be to do with pressure. He could be just as angry if we were winning 3-0 and someone mislays a pass.'

Mancini's confrontational style has seen him offload a number of big stars, such as Emmanuel Adebayor and Robinho, and freeze out others, including Wayne Bridge. He has criticised his English players for drinking too much and risked a bust-up with England goalkeeper Joe Hart last weekend by leaving him out of the FA Cup clash with United.

Bouncing back City suffered defeats in their last two games to United (above) and Liverpool (below)

Bouncing back City suffered defeats in their last two games to United (above) and Liverpool (below)

Bouncing back City suffered defeats in their last two games to United (above) and Liverpool (below)

But creative tension is what makes
Mancini tick and Platt believes he is in England for the long haul. 'He
won't be thinking that the job at Manchester City is finished. If he
wins the League this year, he will want to win it next year as well. His
desire is not just to win but to continue to win, year on year,'
explains Platt.

'I know for a fact that one of the
things that floats his boat is the ability to come and change a club so
it has a behaviour of winning. He did that as a player with Sampdoria.
He had suitors from bigger clubs like Juventus but he didn't leave. He
is happier to be at a club for a significant number of years and try to
become an institution there.'

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez applauds the way Mancini has dealt with Tevez.

'What Mancini did brought some common
sense into the game,' said the Spaniard. 'The players were getting too
big, bigger than the clubs. Manchester City could afford to leave out
the best player with the best salary and I don't think he [Mancini] will
regret it.'