Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has played down concerns about his team's away form ahead of Sunday's game at Aston Villa.

The Barclays Premier League leaders will look to arrest a disappointing sequence of results away from the Etihad Stadium with victory at Villa Park this weekend, having won just one of their last six away games.

However, Mancini is adamant the problem is only short-term, and said: "We knew it was impossible to score three goals in every away game. Sometimes you can lose these games."

He added: "But we didn't deserve to lose any of these games. At Sunderland we had 70% possession and lost to an offside goal in injury time.

"At Everton we had 70% of the ball and had all the shots. At Chelsea it was the same."

City will be coming up against three old boys in Richard Dunne, Stephen Ireland and Shay Given - the last two of whom Mancini was responsible for selling.

The Blues boss was anxious not to make a big thing of that, though.

"This is Manchester City against Aston Villa, not Dunne, Ireland and Given," said Mancini, who confirmed Yaya and Kolo Toure will return to the club immediately after Sunday's African Nations Cup final, when Ivory Coast take on Zambia.

Source: PA