• Premier League

Mancini warning for Balotelli

ESPN staff
August 8, 2011
Mario Balotelli is a source of frustration for Roberto Mancini © Getty Images

Roberto Mancini has hit back at Gary Neville, after the former Manchester United man labelled Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli "an embarrassment" - but has called on his striker to up his game.

Balotelli delivered a typically feisty display in the Community Shield, tangling with Nemanja Vidic before trudging down the tunnel after being substituted.

Neville, in his guise as a pundit for Sky Sports, hit out at Italy international Balotelli. Mancini has been a staunch supporter of the talented but temperamental Balotelli.

Mancini conceded the forward has work to do on the field, but feels it is unfair for the media to continually focus on his acts of petulance.

"None of my staff told him to come back," Mancini said. "I was concentrating on the game. Every time Mario does something people read things into it.

"I think he can do his job better. He can play better than he did today. But it's important he works for the team like the other players."

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