Manchester City's manager Roberto Mancini has told his squad they must adopt the mentality of Chelsea and Manchester United players by cutting out complaints when they do not start games.
Mancini's relationship with Emmanuel Adebayor seems cool, to say the least, and as he also seeks to clear up fresh diplomatic problems with goalkeeper Shay Given – who will start in the Carling Cup third-round tie at West Bromwich Albion tonight – he made it clear he has had enough of the grumbling.
"Other teams probably have a different mentality because all the players play every three days and know the manager will change [things]," Mancini said. "It is difficult to change our mentality in five months [but] the players must understand that the manager chooses 11 players not because Manu [Adebayor] or [Mario] Balotelli or Kolo [Touré] are not good players, but because in that moment I'm choosing [a different] player, and after three days I can change.
"I want a mentality like at Manchester United and Chelsea. If you want to win something, to become a top team, we must change this, because it's impossible [when] every few days a player does an interview saying 'Oh, I'm not playing'."
Mancini has moved to calm things with Given after his own weekend comments gave rise to suggestions that he is happy to see the goal- keeper go. "I don't want to create another situation like Sunday when I said that Shay can leave the club if he wants to leave the club," the Italian said.
But Adebayor, who may get a place on the bench tonight, is testing his patience. "I don't know if he wants to stay or not," the manager said. "I think he must stay because he has a contract with this club and he's an important player."
Mancini, who may finally have Jérôme Boateng back for the visit of Newcastle a week on Sunday, admitted that he himself took the subs' role badly. "I had bad behaviour with managers that I loved. I understand that this can happen during the game. But during the week it's important that you understand why the manager did that."
The preponderance of playing options means the only youth players who get a chance at The Hawthorns may be Dedryck Boyata at centre- back and the 19-year-old Irish left- back Greg Cunningham. Roberto di Matteo may give Roman Bednar, Steven Reid, Gianni Zuiverloon and Giles Barnes rare starts.Reuse content