Platt hails selfless City stars as Rovers thrashed

02 October 2011 01:35

Manchester City assistant manager David Platt praised Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson as the duo weighed in with goals after being handed starts for the 4-0 thrashing of Blackburn Rovers.

After a week which has seen City's squad system under the microscope following the Carlos Tevez affair, Johnson and Balotelli both seized their opportunity to shine as Rovers were put to the sword.

City manager Roberto Mancini declined to speak to reporters following the victory, but could not fail to have been impressed by the contributions of England winger Johnson and badboy Balotelli.

"Mario has shown consistency in his performances and in his training," said Platt. "He's had a lot of column inches in the last 12 months and all the criticism he's had is one thing, but he also deserves credit for what he does right.

"He showed great maturity today," added Platt, who also lauded Johnson, who has found starting opportunities thin on the ground over the past 12 months.

"Adam Johnson's goal was great - in fact, I was right behind it. As soon as it left his foot I knew it was in. We spoke at half-time about players stepping forward to join the attack instead of playing into their hands."

Platt meanwhile acknowledged City's coaching staff often have a difficult task when it comes to keeping the club's expensively-assembled squad happy.

Those tensions exploded into public view this week when Tevez allegedly refused to come off the bench in the Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich, prompting Mancini to declare the Argentinian's career at Eastlands "finished."

"One of the hardest things for us is picking a starting eleven. When we have everyone fit we are still sending top players into the stands. It's important that we don't lose the quality of performance and we haven't," Platt said.

The only blot on an otherwise positive afternoon for City was an injury to Sergio Aguero which saw the in-form striker replaced on 27 minutes.

"Sergio has a groin injury but we're not sure how bad it is. If we had a game imminently then he wouldn't play. I think we're looking at a couple of weeks out least," Platt said afterwards.

City's other goals came through substitute Samir Nasri and Stefan Savic.

While City lauded their manager for outing Tevez's alleged refusal to enter the field in Germany, it was a different tale for Rovers boss Steve Kean.

Hundreds of home fans staged a planned demonstration against the beleaguered boss, who was installed last season by Indian owners Venkys.

Kean has overseen just one win all season - against Arsenal a fortnight ago - and is facing mounting pressure from angry supporters to quit his role.

"After the Arsenal game, most of the fans went home happy. Today is different and the supporters aren't happy and nor are the players or me," said Kean.

"But let's put into perspective - we minimised the chances for City. David Goodwillie couldn't get to Adam Johnson's shot quick enough and before we knew it we were behind.

"They made lots of changes from midweek and had a freshness about them. After falling two behind I felt we started feeling a bit sorry for ourselves.

"I am 100 percent determined to carry on. I'm disappointed in the manner of the goals we conceded but there are good hard-working guys in our dressing room who need support.

"I would rather the fans vented their anger at me. It's certainly not enjoyable but these are my players - even the ones I didn't bring in.

"When we get a good result I'm not the sort to take the credit for myself. I make sure the plaudits are passed on to my players."

Source: AFP

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