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Mancini: Robinho has City future
17 Jan 2010 - 11:37:21
Roberto Mancini insists Robinho remains a valuable part of his Manchester City squad despite his ignominious substitution during the 2-0 defeat to Everton.
The Brazil striker started the game on the bench but replaced the injured Roque Santa Cruz after nine minutes.
However, with City trailing 2-0, he was replaced Shaun Wright-Phillips after 61 minutes at Goodison Park.
Robinho has been linked with a move to Barcelona this month after struggling with form and fitness problems during the first half of the season.
But despite suggestions that the £32million club record signing could be offloaded this month, Mancini insist he still has a future at Eastlands.
"Is it the end of the line for Robinho? No. He is a good player," said Mancini after witnessing City's first defeat of his five-game managerial reign.
"Like everyone in the squad, he needs to work hard and play well.
"I had (Craig) Bellamy, Benjani (Mwaruwari), (Carlos) Tevez, Robinho - all strikers - so I decided to take one off."
Speaking about the performance of the team, Mancini added: "Everton played better than us. I think we can play better, tonight we were so-so, but we have a problem with injuries."