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Scuffles proof of City spirit, says Lescott

06 Dec 2010 09:01:13

| Submit Comments| Comments (95)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapWORDS: Carlos Tevez and Roberto Mancini after the skipper was taken off on SaturdayManchester City don?t need to stamp out the training-ground bust-ups ... they need MORE of them. That is the view of Joleon Lescott, who said the fuss over last week?s photos of Mario Balotelli and Jerome Boateng squaring up after a tough tackle during practice has been lost on the Blues players. The brief flare-up was proffered as further evidence that all is not well in the City camp, especially as Carlos Tevez strongly objected to being substituted by manager Roberto Mancini during Saturday?s 1-0 win over Bolton. But Lescott says that the opposite is the truth ? and that Balotelli and Boateng are close friends who sat down and ate together within an hour of their ?handbags? exchange. ?They are pals,? said Lescott with a smile. ?It is just the way they wanted to win in training. Obviously it wasn?t going someone?s way. I can?t remember the way it started. ?They were talking straight afterwards. They sit together at lunch and dinner so there is no ill-feeling between the two of them. ?It just shows the determination in training. If we can bring that into games it will be great for the team. ?That kind of thing has happened at every club I have been at. It is no surprise to anyone, and the media tend to make it bigger than it is. ?The way things are at this club at the moment people perceive things that are not happening.? That view was backed up by Mancini, who said he is happy for his players to clash, and was also unconcerned about Tevez?s dissent at being replaced by James Milner as the game moved into added time. He added that the fact Boateng had been left out ? not even appearing on the bench despite being fit again ? was not related to the incident. Pablo Zabaleta was in at right back, with Micah Richards on the bench. ?Nothing happened on Friday,? said Mancini. ?It was a normal situation. It happens with every team, every day, and Mario played well. He was only missing the goals. ?Jerome was in the stand. We had three defenders but I can?t put them all on the bench. Two weeks ago Joleon Lescott went in the stand. Three weeks ago it was Micah Richards. It is a normal situation. Mancini confidence ?I have a lot of confidence in Pablo, and he did very well.? Mancini also shrugged off Tevez?s strong verbal protests at being taken off as the Blues, down to ten men, looked to hold their lead. ?It is normal that he was not happy,? said the manager. ?No player wants to leave the team in that moment. But I wanted to keep Mario on the pitch because he is tall, and when you have set pieces against you, that is better.? Of more concern to City is the fact that they continue to create  chances but are leaving the outcome of matches in the balance until the final whistle. They got away with it against Bolton, but conceded a late goal at Stoke a week earlier. But neither Lescott nor Mancini believes it is an issue. : Lescott said: ?I don?t think it is a problem. We are still scoring goals and winning games, and it is not causing us too much disappointment. ?We would like to score at every opportunity. It?s not realistic but with the amount of quality we have in the squad we are confident we can score in most games.? Lescott also made the point that, even though things got a little harum-scarum towards the end, when some stoical defending was needed, it was the kind of game in which City might have slipped up last season. ?I don?t know what the difference is this year,? he said. ?Playing together for another year and having a bit more of an understanding helps.  Individual performances help too. ?Vinny was outstanding against Bolton, not just in defence,  Carlos? work-rate is always 110 per cent, and if you have that and people like Nigel de Jong and Gareth Barry winning the ball it is always a little bit easier.? What is your verdict on City's progress? Have your say.| Submit Comments| Comments (95)| Printable VersionAdd A CommentEnter your comments:Sending


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