The Blues head to West Brom on the first stage of their Carling Cup quest having emerged from their early-season torment that saw them collect just a single point from their games against Sunderland and Blackburn.
With a Premier League encounter with Chelsea at Eastlands looming on Saturday, the return to form could not be better timed.
However, with injuries continuing to decimate his squad, Mancini feels a bit of patience will be required from the City faithful.
"It will be after the next international break before you see the best of us, maybe one more month," said Mancini.
"I need the opportunity to work with all the players, which has not happened since the season began.
"In the meantime it is important that we stay near the top and don't lose any more ground.
"If we can stay very close with the players we have at the moment, we will be able to move closer when the others come back."
More players could mean more problems for Mancini, who has had to cope with a stream of negative stories concerning players not happy at being overlooked in England's most expensive squad.
First it was Craig Bellamy, then Stephen Ireland, and last weekend Shay Given and Emmanuel Adebayor hit the headlines for the wrong reasons.
Mancini can understand the frustration, and he accepts his demand would be easier if City were not a club trying to end a 36-year trophy drought.
But the Italian is convinced life would be easier for everyone if the moaning stopped.
"I played football. Sometimes I had this behaviour. I can understand it, so it is not frustrating for me," said Mancini.
"But at the same time it is important they start to change their mentality.
"If they want to become a top squad and a top team they must change it.
"It is impossible that every three days players do interviews complaining that they are not playing.
"They need to knock on my door and speak with me so I can explain the situation.
"I want to create an atmosphere like they have at Chelsea and Manchester United but maybe it is easier for them to accept it because they have had success."