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Mancini challenges Robinho
16 Jan 2010 - 10:30:06
Manchester City's record signing Robinho has been warned by manager Roberto Mancini not to expect to walk back into the Citizens' first-choice eleven.
The 25-year-old Brazil international has been a bit-part player for much of the current campaign, having looked set to leave the club for Barcelona in the January transfer window.
However, with that move now a non-starter, Mancini wants the South American to prove his class at Eastlands.
He said: "How much a player cost is not important. What you pay only matters when you are in the act of buying someone.
"The important thing after that is the player working hard and playing well.
"Before the game at Middlesbrough Robinho had a problem with one of his muscles and he didn't train for two or three days.
"But it is possible he will play on Saturday, although I do feel sorry for the attacking players, because I have five or six really good ones and I must decide who is going to be on the bench."
Meanwhile, Italian Mancini has played down talk of City challenging for the Premier League title this season.
He added: "To my mind there are three teams who can win the league - Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.
"There are other teams who are only just behind so nothing is totally impossible, but for me it is between those three."