Mancini: Bell bust-up talk is bunkum

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists he can deal with Craig

Bellamy’s feisty personality – as he has worked with the best in

the game.

While Mancini denied a report of a serious rift with the

player he admitted he had an argument with the Wales striker.

Bellamy could in fact come into contention against Liverpool

on Sunday after being been sidelined with a knee injury.

Former Inter Milan coach Mancini said: “I have worked with

players who won the Champions League and the World Cup.

“They had the right attitude and that is very important. So I

have no problem with Craig.

“He is an important player for us. I have respect for him and

all my squad.”

Mancini said they had a difference of opinion about the way

the player’s injury was being managed.

He will now monitor Bellamy’s fitness over the weekend and

the Welshman could yet be ready for the Eastlands clash.

According to the report, Mancini screamed at Bellamy after

the player refused a request to train on Thursday with one of the

manager’s Italian staff.

Mancini apparently then told him not to come back from three


That was emphatically disputed by the Italian, who said:

“Today Craig is here, working with the physio. It was the same


“These things (an argument) can happen in a job. I don’t have

problems with Craig.

“I spoke with him in the office and read that I shouted at

him. But I didn’t. We just spoke face-to-face and the matter was


“He is having treatment at the training ground and if the

knee is okay, he will be available for Sunday.”

Mancini will be without Patrick Vieira after the Football

Association confirmed he will serve a three-game ban.

Carlos Tevez, who has remained in Argentina due to a family

matter, is also absent while there are fears Martin Petrov could be

sidelined for up to four weeks with a knee injury..

Former Arsenal midfielder Vieira opted not to contest a

charge of violent conduct.

The veteran Frenchman escaped punishment at the time after

kicking Stoke’s Glenn Whelan between the legs during Tuesday’s 1-1

draw at the Britannia Stadium.

But he was charged after video evidence was reviewed and will

now miss Barclays Premier League games against Liverpool and

Chelsea and the FA Cup replay against Stoke.

Vieira was no stranger to the FA or disciplinary action

during his nine years at Arsenal, accumulating 100 bookings and 10

red cards before joining Inter in 2005.

Since joining City, he has already been booked twice in four

appearances. His first came against Hull earlier this month before

he received another yellow card on Tuesday for a separate foul on

Mamady Sidibe.

Mancini was disappointed with Vieira’s conduct and said:

“Patrick made a mistake as far as I am concerned.

“He will now miss three important matches. It is a big

problem for me, as he is experienced, and for Patrick as he needs


Mancini, meanwhile, could not give a timescale on when

Argentina striker Tevez will return to England.

He said: “This is another big problem for us. We don’t have

him for a while. I hope he can come back quickly.”