MANCHESTER (Sporting Alert) – Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has played down they training ground latest confrontation with Mario Balotelli and said the Italian will not be punished.
The media was flooded with some staggering images of the training ground disagreement between Mancini and Balotelli on Thursday, but the boss said the heated clash was nothing unusual and has already been overlooked.
“Mario Balotelli made a tackle on his team-mate that I would prefer to see in a game and not against a team-mate,” said Mancini on Manchester City official website at www.mcfc.co.uk.
“I asked him to leave the pitch – he said no so I moved him off. That’s all that happened and it was nothing more than that.
“Nothing has changed between Mario and me and my thoughts have not changed about him and these things happen from time to time.
“Will Mario have more chances? I will give him 100 chances as long as I can see him trying to improve and working hard for this football club.”
Shortly after the incident Stoke City manager Tony Pulis told SkySport News that be believed those kind of burst-up happens all the time between Balotelli and Mancini and he wasn’t surprised about the pictures that were released to the media.
Meanwhile BBC Sport football Premier League expert Matt Slater also gave his view about the training ground bust-up on Thursday and said even though it isn’t as bad as the images are making it seem, it’s not good for any club.
Mancini did a agree with the BBC Sports news specialist, but said it is Balotelli, who needs to realise he has to change for a better future, not him.
He said: “The problem could be himself. (If) he doesn’t change, for him it will be very difficult in the future – for him, not me.
“Mario could stay with me one day, one month, five years. He is 22 years old. He needs to change. His problem is for himself.
“It is not easy to manage him and we can talk about him, but my thoughts about him don’t change.
“What he did yesterday he can do also during the game – this is the problem, but I have faith, yes.”