• Premier League

Mancini: Mourinho is not important

ESPN staff
November 23, 2012
Roberto Mancini saw his Manchester City side knocked out of the Champions League on Wednesday © PA Photos

Roberto Mancini has hit back at Jose Mourinho by declaring that the Real Madrid manager should stop talking about Manchester City.

After Real's 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday, which meant City could not progress to the last-16 of the Champions League, Mourinho suggested he would have been sacked if his team had been knocked out in the group stages.

But Mancini told the Portuguese, who replaced him at Inter Milan in 2008, that his opinion does not matter to the City manager.

"Mourinho is not my chairman. He is not my owner. What Mourinho said is not interesting," Mancini said. "Mourinho wants to talk about everything and for me it is not important."

Mancini faces a third former Inter manager when City travel to Chelsea on Sunday and he revealed that Rafael Benitez consulted him before succeeding Mourinho at the San Siro.

"He asked me about Inter. I said you need to be very strong because Inter is a top club in Italy. We don't have passion like in England but to work in Inter is a good job. He asked me something about Inter.

"I know him [Benitez] but I don't know him very well. As a manager I spoke with him many times before he went to Inter. I think he is a good manager. He won trophies in Spain, England and won a Champions League at Liverpool. I think he is a good manager."

Benitez was appointed Chelsea's interim manager after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked on Wednesday, despite winning the Champions League six months earlier. He has become the ninth manager in as many years at Stamford Bridge with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich being criticised for dismissing Di Matteo.

Mancini was reluctant to condemn the Blues but praised City owner Sheikh Mansour and chairman Khaldoon al Mubarak for their loyalty and understanding.

"I don't know Abramovich. I don't know their situation. I can say I am happy to work with my owners and my chairman. They are good men, they understand the situation. They know it is impossible to win every game and sometimes we lose. They are disappointed like me and the players."

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