Mancini: City have 'good men' who can help club hit heights
Eastlands manager insists team spirit is solid despite ongoing Tevez investigation as they face Blackburn
Roberto Mancini last night insisted that he is in full control of his emotions and has enough "good men" around him to help Manchester City fulfil their objectives.
With Carlos Tevez absent from Carrington on suspension, the manager's press conference began with a formal warning that questions about the Argentine would result in proceedings being suspended. But as players and staff who witnessed Tevez's conduct in Munich were yesterday interviewed by City's investigative team, Mancini said enough to assert his authority, following an emotional post-match press conference in the Allianz Arena.
Tevez is expected to be interviewed early next week, which rules out any immediate hopes he might have had of returning to Argentina with his partner and two daughters in an attempt to shield them from the intense scrutiny of the last 72 hours. Though an informal approach was made by West Ham to City's football administrator Brian Marwood regarding a loan deal, there has been no contact between the London side and Tevez's representative Kia Joorabchian. A deal is not on the cards.
City are sanguine about the fact that Mancini's son, Filippo, has been found to have refused to come on as a substitute for club coach Andy Welsh 10 minutes before the end of a non-competitive game against Liverpool reserves on 10 August. Another of Mancini's sons, Andrea, had already come on but Filippo – a non-contracted, unpaid player – appears to have felt he had been overlooked. That incident, though unfortunate, has no bearing whatsoever on the Tevez case.
"I am calm," Mancini said of the general situation. "In some moments we have blood inside. We don't have water. Sometimes you need [to let go of your emotions] because if not you always keep it inside and it is not easy. But I am calm." Mancini said he need take no encouragement from other managers' support, Sir Alex Ferguson having been the latest to weigh in, half an hour earlier. "I know if I'm doing my job well or not," he said.
He was willing to tackle the assertion that City, with their rapidly assembled band of individuals, lack a collective spirit. "Yes, but when you build a new team, started two and a half years ago, it is important to have good players and also good men," he said. "With good men you can build a strong team for the future. This is very important. When you have good men, you can lose some games and it is not important but in the end you can take [achieve] your target. One hundred per cent – I have good men. I am sure of this."
It was hard to recognise Mancini's account of Tuesday night's press conference. "I was upset because we played well for 30 minutes, there were probably two penalties and after we conceded two goals that were strange. Only this," he said when asked if he had now calmed down. As City embark on an investigation of utmost probity, with external legal advice where required, he was also dismissive when the question of his own psychological strength cropped up, even though it was politely dressed up in a reminder of how he had navigated a course through death threats and financial crisis at Fiorentina 10 years ago.
"I left my home when I was 13 years old so what do you think?" said Mancini, when the question of his mental fortitude was raised. "[Fiorentina] was a difficult moment. We had no money and that was a problem at that time but these things can happen in Italy if a club has a problem."
Mancini's impromptu resignation which was rescinded a day later, immediately after his Internazionale side's 1-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Champions League first knockout stage, three years ago, suggests that he does respond quickly to events, though City's conviction that he is the man to lead them long-term has seen a willingness to discuss a contract extension beyond 2013. It was the picture of running the club in its vast new Etihad Campus training facility which Mancini – who says Edin Dzeko will be considered to start at Blackburn today, contrary to his own assertion after the Munich defeat – was focusing on.
"I have a contract for this year and another year," said Mancini, who will not have Nigel de Jong fit to start today. "I try to work always hard [and] well, if it is possible. When I finish my contract if the club is happy we can talk about this. I would like to stay here until we have built the new training facility. I would like to see it. I would like to stay."
Long after his career in English football has ended, Emile Heskey's impotency in front of goal remains an object of ridicule.
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