Nasri opens up about Mancini
Manchester City forward Samir Nasri has opened up about the struggles which led former manager Roberto Mancini to say he wanted to hit him last season.
Nasri endured a torrid 2012-13 campaign as City surrendered the Barclays Premier League crown they won the previous term, with mistakes and poor performances regularly highlighted.
The France international started to show some good form before the season ended but his inconsistency infuriated Mancini, who said he would "like to give him a punch".
The Italian's remark was meant jokingly but his frustration with a player who cost City Â£24million in 2011 was clear.
All that now seems a long time ago with Nasri revelling in life under Mancini's replacement Manuel Pellegrini and producing performances somewhere near his best this season.
Nasri has spoken before about how he needed the summer to clear his head. He feels he has now addressed the causes of a loss of form he traces back to Euro 2012 and a heated row with a French journalist following his side's exit.
The 26-year-old said: "I wasn't feeling myself, it was a tough season.
"Personally after the Euro Championships and the beef with the French journalists, for months I refused to speak to anybody and had a lot of bad press in France.
"I wasn't involved in the national team, it was a little difficult.
"In my head I wasn't the same. I didn't play well for City and lost my spot in the squad and at the end of the year, you look at your season and you realise I was not myself.
"I talked to people, keeping things to yourself is never good. I talked to the people I love and I decided to smile and be happy and do what I do best - playing football, and that is it."
When asked who he spoke to, Nasri, speaking at a press conference ahead of this week's Champions League clash with Viktoria Plzen, added: "My parents, my agent - they are the people that matter. I spoke to them.
"Even at the time, I had refused to speak to them. I didn't want to talk or explain myself.
"I didn't want to talk about the situation because it was really difficult and it was inside me. "So you spend all the time thinking. Sometimes when you do mistakes, you don't want to admit it. That was my biggest mistake.
"As a player, as a person, I grew up a lot. I am not looking for another incident like this to grow up again.
"But I know my mistakes now and I know what to do to make it right."
Nasri admitted it was difficult to accept some of the criticism that came his way from Mancini, whose reign ended with the sack in May.
Asked specifically about the 'punch' comment, the former Arsenal playmaker said: "It was just a word.
"Managers have different ways of working, some like to say things in the press to make players react and some like to say things face to face with the player.
"Some players see things in the press, it touches their ego and they react.
"Last year, I just wasn't in a good place. Everything he was saying was difficult for me to accept.
"It wasn't his fault, it was just me because I wasn't in a good place."
Nasri was outstanding as City thrashed Tottenham 6-0 in the Barclays Premier League on Sunday and is enjoying the free-flowing attacking play advocated by Pellegrini.
Pellegrini is also renowned for his man-management ability - one of the key factors in his appointment - and Nasri certainly appears to have taken to him.
He said: "I feel good. I have a good relationship with the manager, I know what he wants from me and I know when I am doing good or doing wrong.
"That's what I'm looking for with a manager."
Despite that, Pellegrini will continue to demand improvement from Nasri.
When asked if he was back to his best, Nasri suggested Pellegrini - sitting next to him at the media conference at the Etihad Stadium - would be the better person to answer.
And Pellegrini said: "I suppose the best Nasri will come in the future - he has a lot more where he can improve."
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