Roberto Mancini issues warning to Mario Balotelli

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The Independent Football

Roberto Mancini has warned Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli he must clean up his act if he is to make an impact in the Premier League.

The Italy forward will miss Sunday's trip to Fulham as he serves the final game of a three-match ban he collecting following his dismissal at West Brom earlier this month.

It is yet another period on the sidelines for a player who arrived from Inter Milan with such high expectations this summer, but was injured on his debut in the Europa League qualifier against Timisoara.

Balotelli has still only made four appearances for City this term, a totally inadequate figure for Mancini's purposes, and one he needs to improve on.

"He must change his mentality," said Mancini.

"He must think about playing because if he plays here he can score every game.

"He can't afford to talk with the referee. He needs to think about his job because he can make a difference on the pitch."

Yet Balotelli continues to attract headlines for the wrong reasons.

He was spotted eating with Milan officials on a recent trip back home and was then the subject of racial taunts in midweek when Italy took on Romania in Austria.

"In the world there are a lot of stupid people," reflected Mancini on the latter incident.

"I am not worried about it because he is a strong character.

"And in Milan there is a restaurant where all the Milan and Inter players and owners go. This is normal.

"But he must start to play before he leaves. He has a five year contract and he has only played four games."

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