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Mancini standing by Balotelli

Roberto Mancini has dismissed his training-ground altercation with Mario Balotelli as "nothing special".

Last Updated: 04/01/13 at 21:27 Post Comment

Roberto Mancini: Played down his bust-up with Mario Balotelli

Roberto Mancini: Played down his bust-up with Mario Balotelli

The Manchester City manager was pictured angrily confronting his striker during training on Thursday, raising new questions over Balotelli's future at the club.

But Mancini told a press conference Balotelli will not face disciplinary action and the incident will not spell the end of the 22-year-old's Eastlands career.

He said: "We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate. I told him to leave the pitch, he said 'no', and I took his shirt and pushed him from the pitch. That is what really happened - nothing special, no fight.

"These are things that can happen, usually between players. This was different because I wanted him to leave the pitch for what he did against another player."

Asked whether he would now look to sell Balotello, Mancini said: "No, no, no, no. This is not important - it doesn't change my thoughts on this.

"I will give him another 100 chances if possible, if I think he can change. I am here for this. Sometimes I am upset with him, but I give him another chance, sure. He is 22 and he can make a mistake."

Mancini has more often than not backed his fellow Italian despite a series of high-profile incidents - on and off the pitch - since the striker's 2010 arrival from Inter.

The manager did question Balotelli's future after a sending-off at Arsenal last season, but he was back in the fold by May and set up the Sergio Aguero goal which secured City's first league title since 1968.

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