Soccer: Mancini plays down training clash with Balotelli

Forward will get '100 chances', no action to be taken

Soccer: Mancini plays down training clash with Balotelli

Rome, January 4 - Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini on Friday played down a clash he had in training with Mario Balotelli and said the Italy forward's future at the English champions had not changed because of the incident. Photos in the British media showed Mancini grabbing Balotelli's training bib after a dangerous tackle on teammate Scott Sinclair in Thursday's training session. The incident fueled speculation that City have run out of patience with the hugely talented 22-year-old, who has been dogged by indiscipline and has been at the centre of a series of bizarre off-field episodes since joining them in 2010, and want to offload him. "Mario made a tackle on his teammate that I would prefer to see in a game and not against a teammate," Mancini told a press conference. "I asked him to leave the pitch - he said no, so I moved him off. That's all that happened and it was nothing more than that. "There will be no action taken because it was over very quickly and that is the end of it. "Nothing has changed between Mario and me and my thoughts have not changed about him. These things happen from time to time. "Will Mario have more chances? I will give him 100 chances as long as I can see him trying to improve and working hard for this football club". Balotelli has not been a regular starter for the English champions this season and Mancini has publicly criticised the attitude of his compatriot, saying he risks throwing away his immense talent. Friction between player and club peaked last month when Balotelli moved to appeal to a Premier League tribunal to try to overturn a fine of 340,000 pounds, or about 400,000 euros, for his poor disciplinary record that saw him miss 11 games because of suspensions last season. But the player made a U-turn and decided to drop the action and accept the fine. Mancini said Balotelli would not start in Saturday's FA Cup match against Watford after missing some training sessions because of a virus. "He trained only four times this week," Mancini said. "(He will) not (be) in the starting line-up, maybe on the bench.

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