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Dec 24, 2011

Bridge hits back at Mancini

Wayne Bridge has hit back at Roberto Mancini after the Manchester City boss mocked his own left-back, and Bridge insists the only reason he is still at the club is because they are standing in the way of his departure.

• Mancini questions Bridge motives

Bridge has played just once this season, in a Carling Cup tie against Birmingham. The former England man has been banished to training with the youth team by Mancini, who has publicly claimed he wants rid of Bridge's £95,000-per-week wages.

Asked in a recent press conference how Bridge spends his Saturday afternoons, Mancini replied: "I don't know, golf?"

However, Bridge - who cannot get a game even when first-choice left-backs Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy are unavailable - feels Mancini has no man-management skills. And while he admits turning down an approach from Portsmouth due to his Southampton-supporting dad, Bridge claims other moves have been blocked because City have demanded unreasonable money in return.

"Roberto Mancini obviously doesn't know me very well because I don't play golf," Bridge told the Daily Mail.

"When I was at Chelsea I was playing for a team where Ashley Cole was the best in the world and I still got games. It won't happen at City. There has never been an explanation, but it's obvious they don't want me.

"Mancini doesn't really speak to me, he doesn't really speak to any of the players. The only time I've known a player isolated like this was Winston Bogarde at Chelsea. Usually you still train with the first team, even when they want you out.

"I'm entitled to leave. City claimed I'm only at the club for the money, but when it comes to the deal to let me go, it becomes about the money for them."

Bridge's name has been touted as a possible answer to Arsenal's current problems at fullback, although Arsene Wenger revealed on Friday that no contact has been made for the 31-year-old. Bridge admits the time is right to leave, and he is trying to maintain his dignity despite seeing his future shackled at City.

"I've never caused trouble, I'm not that kind of character," the defender said. "I don't like confrontation, to be honest. It takes a while for me to lose it, but when I do...

"Some players are totally different to me - they would phone the manager and say things there and then. I just get on with things and hope they resolve themselves. Even when I'm playing I just like to get on with my own life. If I kicked up a fuss I might have got out easier.

"My next move has to be right for me. I'd rather play three games a week than none."

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