Mancini plays down Balotelli incident

London, Jan 4 (IANS) Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini Friday said his argument with striker Mario Balotelli was usual on training ground and will not change the relationship between them.

A series of photographs from a picture agency Thursday showed the duo were involved in a seemingly heated exchange. Subsequently, British media including BBC reported the incident, arousing people's attention to the first response from the club in a pre-match press conference Friday morning.

"Mario made a tackle on his team-mate that I would prefer to see in a game and not against a team-mate," Mancini was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

"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."

Mancini said that he plans to keep the Italian forward at the club and hopes to see changes in his attitude.

"Nothing has changed between Mario and me and my thoughts have not changed about him and 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."

The Italian manager also said there would be no action taken because it was over very quickly and that was the end of it.

After the photos were released to the public, experts were invited to analyse the incident.

Ex-England and Man City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson told BBC that the similar situation can happen "at every club in the world".

"At any football club in the world this sort of thing happens, it just never comes out into the press," said Eriksson.

"The difference with City is that people can photograph training."

Former City star Rodney Marsh told BBC that the 22-year-old forward is one of the most unpredictable players in footballing history.

Marsh also analysed that "two personalities clash" between the duo was maybe one reason for their argument.

"They are both incredibly passionate, brilliant at what they do, are champions, but the chemistry between the two just doesn't seem to work."

Man City will play against Watford at home Saturday afternoon.

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