Mancini: Balotelli spat "nothing special"

Daily Echo: Roberto Mancini Roberto Mancini

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has played down his latest confrontation with controversial striker Mario Balotelli.

Mancini was yesterday photographed grappling with his fellow Italian in a training ground bust-up but the City boss insists the matter was not serious.

Mancini, speaking at a press conference to preview this weekend's FA Cup third-round clash with Watford, said: ''I think the photos show the worst of what happened.

''It was nothing special. There was no fight, this was not true.''

The incident occurred after a bad tackle by Balotelli on Scott Sinclair during a training match.

Mancini said: ''We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate.I said to him, 'Go inside, leave the pitch'. He said no and I took his shirt and pushed him out of the pitch.This is what really happened, nothing special.''

When asked if he lost his temper, Mancini said: ''No, no. For two seconds, yes - during three or four seconds because he didn't want to leave the pitch. He can't do this against no one, but then it was finished.''

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