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Platt calls for patience over Mario Balotelli progress

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16 Dec 2010 10:47:06

| Submit Comments| Comments (49)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapMario Balotelli in action against Wolves earlier this seasonMario Balotelli is not yet ready to step into the boots of Carlos Tevez. And that is why the Blues may insist the Argentine ace stays with them until next summer and why they are already on the lookout for TWO strikers to bolster their Champions League hopes. First-team coach David Platt admits that 20-year-old Balotelli, despite playing 59 games in Serie A and winning two international caps for Italy, is very much a work in progress. As someone who as a player experienced the differences between Serie A and English football, Platt has warned the youngster that he needs to bridge the gap in football culture of he is to be a City hit. But Platt has also dismissed the notion that Balotelli is a loose cannon after a tempestuous start to his career with the Blues in which he has picked up five goals, three yellow cards and one red in the space of eight appearances. Platt says manager Roberto Mancini is the perfect person to knock Balotelli into shape, both in terms of his football and his temperament. ?Mario is easy to manage, certainly for Roberto, who knows him very, very well,? said Platt. ?He is a very young boy who has come over from the security of Italy and his family to a club that is demanding.? Balotelli?s bid to settle into a new life in Manchester, and into a new team with City, was disrupted by the injury he picked up on his first appearance for the club when he scored the winner as a substitute in the 1-0 win at Timisoara in August. That ruled him out for over two months, as he returned to Italy for a knee operation, meaning he was introduced to the white heat of Premier League football almost from a cold start. ?He is very, very inexperienced and also inexperienced in terms of City because of his injury and the fact he was suspended for three games when he came back,? said Platt. Balotelli experience ?I?m not sure how many times he has pulled on a City shirt but it?s not more than half a dozen, so he is very inexperienced. ?What he has to come to terms with is English football, the fact that it?s played at a breakneck speed and that he might not get the fouls in England that he would get in Serie A. ?But we are all here to help him because there is an immense talent there.? Balotelli has been left behind in Manchester for the game in Turin, partly to keep him fresh for Monday night?s league clash with Everton and partly to shield him from the possibility of the kind of racist abuse he received when playing for Italy last month, and for Inter Milan at Juventus last season. But he had a miserable time in his last appearance for the Blues in Saturday?s 3-1 win at West Ham, picking up a booking after reacting angrily to what he saw as a lack of protection from referee Phil Dowd. He also saw the game largely pass him by, and missed two great chances to add to his goal tally, before storming down the tunnel after being subbed, without making eye contact with Mancini. ?Robbie was thinking of making the change because Mario couldn?t get into the game prior to the booking,? said Platt. ?Once he got the booking we decided it was time to do it. "Because of his age and experience he is a work in progress and everyone at the club is striving to help him realise things are different here and he has to approach it in a different way.? What is your verdict on Balotelli's progress? Have your say. | Submit Comments| Comments (49)| Printable VersionAdd A CommentEnter your comments:Sending


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