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Mancini has the full backing of Manchester City hierarchy

FOOTBALL By - The Guardian | November 10th 2012

- The Guardian

Roberto Mancini has the full backing of Manchester City's Abu Dhabi hierarchy regarding his admission that he was sounded out by Monaco and other clubs last season and his angry reaction following the 2-2 draw with Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday. There is also complete faith in the manager in the long term.

The view of the executive, which includes Khaldoon al-Mubarak, the chairman, and Ferran Soriano, the new chief executive, and is led by Sheikh Mansour, the owner, is relaxed regarding the approach to Mancini by Monaco and his subsequent statement that "seven [or] eight" clubs were interested in hiring him. They accept that, just as any number of City's star players may be of interest to other top clubs, so too is Mancini due to his status as one of the game's elite managers.

Regarding the scenes after the draw with Ajax at the Etihad Stadium, when Mancini approached the referee, Peter Rasmussen, to ask why Sergio Agüero's winner was wrongly ruled offside, there is understanding and sympathy for the manager's frustration, with Mario Balotelli also having what appeared a legitimate penalty appeal turned down at the end of the match.

David Platt is clear, too, that Mancini is "fine" and not feeling any pressure. The Italian did not give his normal Friday press conference before Sunday's visit of Tottenham Hotspur, though Platt said there was nothing untoward in this and that there was nothing wrong with the Italian's state of mind. "People make a great deal of it but he's fine," Platt said. "It's not the first time he's reacted in that way [after the Ajax game], not necessarily at Manchester City but even as a player.

"What he does, he has a great desire to win football matches, so his concentration is on winning matches. Its not: 'Oh, what's going on here, how can I stop this, what can I do?' He's not cold, he's not manipulative, in any way, he doesn't look at strategy with you boys [the media]. A lot was made the other week when he came in here – he didn't rant and rave [about Monaco], even though that was the way people wanted him to say it."

Platt believes the media in England present different challenges from those in Mancini's homeland. "It's easier in Italy because they listen to quotes and go and write them [rather than editorialise]," he said. "You start talking about a goldfish bowl [there] but it's easier. They accept people want to read football, rather than your [the journalists here] opinions."

City are the only unbeaten side in the Premier League and have conceded only nine goals, fewer than the leaders Manchester United and Chelsea in second, and Platt has the perfect way to refocus the squad for Spurs. "We could just put the league table up if we want," he said.

Mancini has a boost as David Silva is back in full training following a hamstring injury, though he may be only a substitute against Spurs. Joleon Lescott is also available after a back issue, while James Milner has started light work following his hamstring strain.

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