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Mancini: Balotelli and Johnson can become great players

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02 Dec 2010 11:44:11

| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapRoberto Mancini looks on against SalzburgRoberto Mancini watched Mario Balotelli and Adam Johnson star against Red Bull Salzburg and then told them: "You can do better!"  Balotelli's brace took his Blues tally to five goals in six appearances, while Johnson scored a superb solo effort. ?I think Mario can play better than that,? said Mancini. ?He scored goals but he can do more than this. ?He can improve and he can run more. He also had two or three chances in the first half which he missed. I know him very well and he can show he is better than he did tonight.? Balotelli greeted his goals with a virtual shrug of the shoulders, and Mancini smiled as he offered an explanation of his under-stated celebration. ?He never celebrates his goals,? said Mancini. ?He believes that it is normal for him to score ? and to score every day, probably!? City have been without Balotelli for most of the season, initially through injury, and then through a three-match ban for a red card at West Brom. And Mancini feels his absence may have cost the Blues the chance to be right in the thick of the title chase. ?I don?t know if he would have made a difference because football is strange, but it is possible he could have earned us two or three points more,? he said. Balotelli appeared to be injured as he was substituted, but there is no problem and he should be fit to face Bolton on Saturday. The other star on the night was Johnson. Mancini still had cautious words for the England winger, but said he is only trying to imrpoive him as a player. ?Players like Adam and Mario have a fantastic attitude to play football. They have to realise they can become great players,? said Mancini, who was recently critical of Johnson, saying he needs to keep his feet on the ground. ?Adam scored but he must then realise he must work and keep it going. ?I hope he understands I say these things because I believe in him. If he works well he can be a very good player. ?In three or four years when I leave City I hope he will say Roberto did a good thing for me.? One good thing Mancini did do was allow Johnson off the field when he got caught short. Said a laughing Mancini afterwards: ?He had a problem ? he had to go off for a bathroom break! In Italy we say it?s better in the bathroom than on the pitch.? Now City go to Turin for a dead rubber match on December 16, with Juventus out and only top spot in the group to play for. Mancini said he is likely to rest some of his stars with City facing Everton in a crunch Premier League gamethe following Monday night. ?We play on a Thursday in Turin and then play on Monday so we will probably rest players. I am glad we are through because now we can focus on the Premier League.? What do you think? Have your say.| Printable VersionHotelsHolidaysMotorsShoppingDatingWhat's OnJobsHomesmineOffers Business Finder Please enter a Business and Location. NewsletterGet the latest news straight to your inbox.


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