Mancini prefers to focus on Tevez goals – not gripes

City manager will deal with striker's complaints about training when derby is over
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Roberto Mancini will meet with Carlos Tevez to discuss his remarks about Manchester City's training regime only after the derby.

The City manager said it was important not to disturb his main striker's concentration before a pivotal encounter with United, for which Tevez's strike partner, Roque Santa Cruz, said the Argentine "had been polishing his scoring boots for weeks, probably months".

Tevez, who disliked intensive preparation both at City and United, began the build-up to a game that will go a long way to deciding the future of both clubs by alleging his team-mates were unhappy with Mancini's methods. "We are tired but there are still double training sessions, morning and afternoon, and the next day we train for two hours," he said.

Mancini said: "I have not spoken to him before because this week the most important thing for me is the game and these other things are not so important." Mancini revealed that while at Sampdoria he had fallen out with his manager, Vujadin Boskov, for similar reasons. "I know very well how players work," he said. "When I was a player I publicly criticised Boskov.

"I said that his training was not good for us but when he was sacked I was so sad because I thought he was the best manager ever and I knew I had made a mistake. I knew I was wrong when I attacked the manager. The most important thing for me is that Carlos works and plays very well.

"But this [training regime] is our style. I don't think we work hard, we work well. We have improved in the last three months and I am content with that." The 11 goals scored in Manchester City's previous two games is proof of that – with Sir Alex Ferguson expressing particular admiration at the 5-1 demolition of Birmingham last Sunday, commenting that "nobody has done that to Birmingham this season".

The Argentine, who contributed three of those 11 goals, has scored a goal a game in the 17 matches he has played since Mancini succeeded Mark Hughes in December, compared with Craig Bellamy's four in 19.

Mancini's enthusiasm for hard training regimes and rigid tactics is a symptom of his time in Serie A and in this he is not that different from Fabio Capello or Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea. "In Italy everything is very tactical," said Mancini. "All the managers work very hard in this way.

"And never before have the English team had such a good chance to win the World Cup and this is because Capello is a very good manager who knows football. If he must defend, he defends. If he must attack, he attacks and the England team has improved tactically because of it."

Nevertheless, Mancini's touchline spat with David Moyes during Everton's victory at Eastlands last month displayed a very English passion, although he expressed surprise that he was handed a suspended £20,000 fine for the incident by the Football Association. "I find it a very strange decision," he said. "I apologised to David Moyes, the supporters and the referee after the game. I suppose I will have to be more careful in future."

While United were squeezing another season from their old guard, with Paul Scholes accepting the offer of a new, one-year contract, City are poised to start what Ferguson expects to be a flood of signings with Mancini confirming his interest in the Hamburg defender Jerome Boateng. "We must think about the future because, even if we don't finish fourth, we will still be in the Europa League," he said. "But getting into the Champions League would make it so much easier to get the players we want."

Comments