'I would give Balotelli 100 chances' – Mancini plays down clash with Manchester City striker

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has played down Thursday’s training ground bust-up with striker Mario Balotelli.

Photographs emerged of the two clashing after Mancini was unhappy with a challenge by Balotelli on team-mate Scott Sinclair, and the two had to be separated by assistant manager Brian Kidd along with other members of the club’s backroom staff.

However, the 48-year-old has played down the incident and insists the matter is over with.

“Mario made a tackle on his team-mate that I would prefer to see in a game and not against a team-mate,” Mancini told reporters.

“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.”

It is not the first time the two have clashed during their time together and Mancini admits he did briefly lose his temper with the 22-year-old.

He added: “For two seconds, yes. Three, four seconds later no. He didn’t want to leave pitch. No fight.”

The manager said there would be no disciplinary action over the incident and said he considered it to be over and dealt with.

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