Mancini: Fights in training are normal – I had five as a player

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The Independent Football

Having spent more than a year playing down the significance of spats and tiffs at Manchester City, Roberto Mancini has reiterated that he is not concerned about the seemingly regular scraps at the club's Carrington training ground.

The complex is a regular haunt for photographers, who have a clear view of City's training pitches from a public footpath and they have been rewarded for their patience.

Only last week, Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Touré had to be pulled apart in a training game, Mario Balotelli and Jerome Boateng have also clashed and there have been a host of other incidents at matches that have called the squad's spirit into question.

But Mancini is adamant that the only difference between City and other clubs is that his squad do not have a wall to stop prying eyes witnessing the fights, although he maintains he is not bothered about regularly having to answer questions about them.

Mancini claims that more serious incidents result in the players being fined, with the proceeds going to the club's five nominated charities.

But the Italian is no stranger to such conflict, admitting that during his playing days he was often involved in bust-ups, and a quarter of a century ago rolled his sleeves up and tussled with Trevor Francis while in his Sampdoria days.

"I played football and I know that in every team sometimes these things can happen because when you stay and train every day and play a match at 100 per cent, it can happen," Mancini said. "I had about five fights in my career. One time when I was young I had a fight in training against Trevor Francis.

"I don't remember the cause of it because it was about 25 years ago but I remember the fight very well. It's important that afterwards it was finished. We don't always fine them, but sometimes, yes, we give a fine.

"It's never serious because it starts and finishes in two minutes and in the dressing room everything is finished.

"We fine them because we mustn't do this but sometimes it can happen and we fine the player, the player pays and in the end any money may go to charity. This happens at every club."

With Roque Santa Cruz set to join his former club Blackburn Rovers on loan until the end of the season, Mancini also confirmed yesterday that Shaun Wright-Phillips is poised to follow Wayne Bridge, who has joined West Ham until the end of the season, out of Eastlands.

Mancini also revealed that Adebayor's departure from the club is dependent on an update on Balotelli's knee problem.

The Italian forward is set to miss at least three weeks with an injury to the knee that was operated on three months ago and City are waiting to see how he reacts to gym work over the next fortnight but Mancini is confident David Silva will recover from a knee injury to face Wolverhampton Wanderers tomorrow.

Wright-Phillips has been linked with the former City manager Mark Hughes's Fulham, as well as West Ham and Birmingham City, while Adebayor has been connected with a string of clubs including Real Madrid, Fulham and Monaco.

However Mancini, who has denied suggestions he is interested in signing Tottenham's Gareth Bale, will reconsider any more outgoings if his squad picks up any further injuries. "For Shaun, it's the same situation as Roque," Mancini said. "They are good players but every player wants to play and it's difficult. I understand their situation very well and if they have an opportunity to go to another team and always play, it's better for them.

"The move for Roque could be done in one or two days and then Roque can play again. Shaun is in the same situation as Wayne but we must wait.

"Shaun has two or three options but we must wait because we've lost three or four players and we might not have a lot of options for the season.

"We must wait because Manu [Adebayor] is a different situation. There are a lot of teams that want Manu and Manu is a different player.

"In this moment I think it's better that we wait for Mario's situation. Maybe he [Adebayor] will leave in January but we must wait. We have another 20 days and we must wait another week."