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Zabaleta urges strong response

13 May 2013 14:37

Manchester City full-back Pablo Zabaleta is confident his side can recover from their 1-0 defeat to Wigan in the FA Cup final on Saturday.

The Argentine was dismissed in the second half for a second bookable offence when he fouled Wigan's Calum McManaman, before Ben Watson's injury-time winner.

But he insisted City are capable of learning from their mistakes and challenging for honours again next season.

"This season has practically gone and we need to come back next season stronger and try to win something again," he said.

"We need to learn from this and come back next year with a better mentality.

"If we want to keep winning trophies we need to give more and be more consistent because this is the Premier League - the most competitive league in the world and if you give any chance to the teams they will take them.

"It's difficult but at the moment we need to be positive and keep working hard."

While Zabaleta was disappointed with the defeat he conceded that Wigan were worthy of their success.

"It is hard to accept some defeats like this because we knew it was going to be a difficult game," he added.

"The way Wigan play is good and on a big pitch like Wembley they felt comfortable. They played a fantastic game and had control of the ball practically all the game, from the first minute to the end.

"Tactically they were better than us and we need to accept we didn't play our best game and they have fully deserved the win."

The 28-year-old admitted he was disappointed to get sent off, but admitted his challenge was a late one.

"I knew it was a difficult situation," he said.

"McManaman was going towards goal and obviously I had already been booked. My descision was to try to stop him and I went a bit late.

"I was frustrated to get sent off in a big game but this is part of football. I know as a defender we can sometimes be exposed at the back and we need to make these types of tackles and fouls."

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