City’s Mancini downplays row with Mario Balotelli


Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - Page 20

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini played down his row with Mario Balotelli and insists the striker still has a future with him by claiming he will give him another “100 chances” at the club.

The Italian pair were pictured grappling on the training ground in an apparent bust-up on Thursday in the latest in a long line of incidents involving the controversial striker.

Mancini took exception to a bad tackle from Balotelli on teammate Scott Sinclair during a training match, but the City manager played it down yesterday.

He claimed he asked the 22-year-old striker to leave the pitch after the tackle, but when he refused the pair exchanged words in a heated argument which got physical.

Mancini admitted to losing his temper with the player, but insists he has no regrets over the incident and does not feel like he has to speak to the player about it.

“It wasn’t a bad thing like are in the paper,” Mancini said. “The photo is worse than what happened. We were playing a game and Mario kicked his teammate and I said to him: ‘Go inside, leave the pitch.’ He said ‘no,’ and I take his shirt, I push him off the pitch. This is what really happened, no fight. There is no fight.”

“The pictures look worse. For two seconds, yes I lose my temper. Because he didn’t want to leave the pitch and he should leave,” Mancini said. “I will give him another 100 chances if it possible if I think he can change. I am here for this. Also if sometimes I am upset with him because he does everything for this. I give him another chance, sure, because he is 22 and he can do a mistake.”