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Jan, 24, 2012

City resigned to Balotelli ban

Manchester City appear resigned to losing Mario Balotelli for four matches after admitting replays of his apparent stamp on Scott Parker "do not look good".

• Aguero: Mario's misunderstood
• Balotelli charged over Parker incident

Balotelli, 21, was hit with a violent conduct charge by the Football Association on Monday after referee Howard Webb reviewed footage of the incident which occurred during Sunday's 3-2 win over Tottenham, meaning the striker faces a four-match suspension having already been sent off this season.

City are considering whether to appeal the ban, but assistant coach David Platt has intimated the club are unlikely to challenge the decision, with a failed appeal risking an extended ban.

Platt said: "We are likely to be without a player for four games. "We found out the information last night and we have not sat down as a group to discuss it [an appeal].

"But I don't think anybody thought we would win an appeal with Vincent Kompany, even though the majority of people didn't feel he deserved a red card or a four-match ban. It shows the futility of an appeal sometimes. This looks poor when you slow it down."

Balotelli also acquired a level of notoriety during his time at former club Inter Milan and, after such an eventful start to his career, Platt feels he will have to get used to the attention.

Platt said: ''There is a perception around Mario, he commands column inches. It is something that is going to be with him throughout his career. He has to deal with it. It is there and it has been there for players in the past. They have to deal with it.''

While it seems City are resigned to losing Balotelli in the short term, Platt is confident the player will still have a big part to play this season.

Platt said: ''The impression I get is that we must focus on our games with the players at our disposal. If we were to appeal - we have already been there - I don't think we would win that appeal. It is against you to win it.

''The likelihood is we will be without Mario for the next four games. But there are more than four games to go. When he is available again we will utilise him to help achieve what we want to achieve this season.''

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