Roberto Mancini says Joleon Lescott remains an 'important' player for Manchester City


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The Independent Football

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has stressed he still regards Joleon Lescott as an important player.

England centre-half Lescott played a key role in City's Barclays Premier League title success last season, but has been dropped for some significant fixtures this term.

The 30-year-old was an unused substitute for the league matches on August 26 at Liverpool and on Saturday at Fulham, as well as the Blues' Champions League Group D opener against Real Madrid on September 18 at the Bernabeu, where summer signing Matija Nastasic was chosen ahead of him to partner captain Vincent Kompany in central defence in a 3-2 defeat.

It has made for an uncertain situation for the former Everton man, although he has vowed not to "rock the boat" over the matter, and speaking today ahead of City's next Champions League assignment - tomorrow's home clash with Borussia Dortmund - his manager Mancini emphasised that Lescott is still very much a part of his plans.

Asked if he had lost faith in Lescott, the Italian said: "He is one of the best defenders.

"But I have six or seven defenders and I made a different choice last week and in Madrid.

"Tomorrow I will decide again, but Joleon is an important player for us."