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City boss slams striker’s progress

Manager frustrated with Balotelli's inconsistency

By | 11th December 2012
united v city

Roberto Mancini has criticized the progress of promising striker Mario Balotelli, insisting that his compatriot has significantly more talent than he has been showcasing lately.

The magnitude of Balotelli’s potential was on display for the entire world when his stunning brace propelled Italy into the Euro 2012 final at the expense of a strong German team.

Injuries plagued the beginning of the 22-year old’s campaign and while he has scored once each in the Premier League, the Carling Cup, and the Champions League, Mancini wants much more out of the temperamental striker.

“I love Mario as a guy and a player but it is important for him to start to think about his job,” Mancini was quoted by The Sun following Balotelli’s disappointing performance as a starter in Sunday’s Manchester derby.

Unsurprisingly, he was replaced by Carlos Tevez just a few minutes into the second half and many felt that he should have never started over the Argentine to begin with.

While there were more factors to blame for the 3-2 defeat against United than just Balotelli’s poor showing, Mancini feels that the striker’s quality can prove to be the difference-maker for the team is he begins delivering on a consistent basis.

“He has everything to play well. We wanted more from him and he cannot play like he played today. When you have the quality that Mario has, you can’t just throw it out of the window,” the former Inter Milan boss asserted.

City, who currently trail bitter cross-town rivals United by six points in the title race, can cut the gap to three for at least two hours if they can win away to Newcastle United in Saturday’s early kick-off.

United, meanwhile, host struggling Sunderland and given that both Manchester clubs have been eliminated from the League Cup already, the focus in that part of the country is already on the weekend’s fixture list.

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