Sat, Mar 05, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Man City suspend Toure after positive test

AFP, MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

Manchester City defender Kolo Toure has been suspended after failing a drugs test, the club announced on Thursday.

A statement on City’s official Web site read: “Manchester City confirm that the FA [Football Association] has informed Kolo Toure that an ‘A-sample’ provided by him has tested positive for a specified substance.”

“As result of this, he has been suspended from participating in all first team and non-first team matches pending the outcome of the legal process. There will be no further comment from the football club at this stage,” it said.

The failed test automatically triggered the suspension, with City left with no option but to exclude him from their plans until the conclusion of proceedings.

Meanwhile, City boss Roberto Mancini says any hopes of fielding his dream strike force will have to be put on hold until his injury worries clear up.

Mancini has been reluctant to start his “Fab Four” — Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli, Edin Dzeko and David Silva — in the same team.

The Italian has a chance to experiment against Wigan Athletic today having written off his side’s Premier League title hopes.

But Mancini, who did include all four in their recent Europa League win over Aris Salonika, is wary of leaving his side exposed by their attacking team selection.

“At this moment, I don’t think there is a way to play Balotelli, Dzeko, Silva and Tevez together and get the best out of the team,” he said. “Maybe when we get all our players back, we can think about it. But at this moment, the team must have a balance.”

Just five points from as many Premier League games have seen City’s hopes evaporate in a slump that should be ended against the struggling Latics.

However, despite discounting his side from mounting a late charge, Mancini has only set his sights on securing a top-four finish that would guarantee Champions League soccer next season.

“We should be realistic, even if we win 10 games I don’t think we can win the title,” he said. “I think Arsenal have a chance and it depends if Chelsea win all their games.”

“We need to get fourth position. We have been between first and fourth for 28 games. Now is the time for key games,” the Italian said.

Mancini meanwhile expects Wigan to provide a stern test, despite a poor run of form which included last week’s drubbing by Manchester United.

“Every time we play them we have difficulties, that’s why it’s important to have three or four fresh players who have enjoyed a rest,” he said.

Wigan defender Emmerson Boyce believes his side will have nothing to fear.

The Latics will have their work cut out today but Boyce says his team has every chance of coming away with a result and will go to Eastlands full of confidence.

“You look at City’s team — they have world-class players right through from the goalkeeper to the strikers,” he said.

“They’re still challenging for the title and they’ll be looking for a result themselves,” the Barbados international said. “It’s a tough test for the lads, but Eastlands is a place where teams can go and get a result as we’ve seen this season.”

“We’ll go there with not as much fear as you have playing Manchester United, believing we can come away with something,” he said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top