Raging Roberto Mancini still prefers fight over flight

No indication that Balotelli has been fined over incident

Roberto Mancini yesterday said he had no regrets over Thursday's training ground confrontation with Mario Balotelli.

The Manchester City manager argued that the incident in which he grabbed Balotelli's training bib before ordering him to the changing rooms had looked worse than it was and lasted "only a few seconds".

He also said that Balotelli's challenge on Scott Sinclair would have been worth "two red cards" had it occurred during a match.

There is no indication that Balotelli has been fined.

Mancini viewed the incident as less serious than the persistent indiscipline on the pitch for which Balotelli was fined last season, or the player's appearing outside a strip club 48 hours before a match in March.

"No, I did nothing," said Mancini when asked if he regretted losing his temper so completely with the footballer he has mentored since he was a teenager. "I wanted Mario to leave the pitch and he said: 'No, I don't want to.' I know it is unusual for a manager to do this but I am not regretful."

Balotelli has not played for City since an unmotivated performance in last month's Manchester derby a few days before the birth of his daughter, Pia. Since then his private life has appeared like a case study for The Jeremy Kyle Show.

His foster parents, Francesco and Silvia Balotelli, have written an open letter to his former girlfriend and Pia's mother, Raffaela Fico, to urge her to stop giving interviews to the Italian press in which she invariably criticises their son's fitness to be a parent amid talk of DNA tests.

Balotelli's camouflaged Bentley has been seen in Wythenshawe, a working-class district of Manchester, where his birth mother, Rose Barwuah, has set up home.

Mancini remarked that he did not know whether Balotelli was in a fit state of mind to play football. For this afternoon's FA Cup tie with Watford, the best the striker can expect is a place on the bench.

"It is not easy to manage Mario," Mancini said. "If he doesn't change, the future will be very difficult – for him, not for me. If I think he can change, I will give him 100 chances but he should understand that a football career is very, very short. Three or four years can pass in what seems like a second."

Earlier this month Mancini claimed that the club's owner, Sheikh Mansour, wanted to keep Balotelli at the Etihad Stadium because he brought so much publicity to the club.

Yesterday, he fulfilled that requirement. There were so many television cameras crammed into the small press room at the Carrington training ground that Mancini asked with a smile whether Manchester City were holding a press conference for the Champions League final.

Mancini received support from an unlikely ally in the shape of Sir Alex Ferguson, who argued that Manchester City's inability to screen off their training pitches, because a public footpath runs alongside the, left the champions at a distinct disadvantage. "By closing off your training ground, you're protecting your success. Do ICI send an email to Bayer chemicals telling them about their new discoveries in drugs or whatever?" asked the United manager. "Cameramen want to be at training sessions which I think is ridiculous.

"Fortunately, at our place we can guard against that to a decent degree. Sometimes we get a photographer over in the woods but we've put these wolves in there! They never come now."

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
people'I hated him during those times'
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam