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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Mar 24, 2012

Mancini silent after Stoke draw

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini did not trust himself to speak to media after being angered by events during his side's 1-1 draw at Stoke.

Platt: 'It's important we keep amassing points'

• Toure brothers remain upbeat

Although they regained top spot in the Premier League, City dropped two potentially crucial points as they were forced to reply to a sensational Peter Crouch volley at the Britannia Stadium.

Yaya Toure struck a superb, albeit deflected, equaliser but Mancini was angered by Stoke's rugged approach and an incident in the first half when Dean Whitehead clashed with David Silva.

City playmaker Silva needed treatment for a head wound after being caught by Whitehead's arm in an aerial challenge, but referee Howard Webb did not book the player.

It was also claimed Mancini did not shake his opposite number Tony Pulis' hand after the game, such was his indignation.

City first team coach David Platt, addressing Mancini's failure to attend the press conference, said: "It's not a case of being too angry - he's just wary that he might say something that gets him in hot water.

"It's about the way the game unfolded. It is very difficult when you come here and sometimes you look for a bit of protection. It's a bit hot afterwards but once he's calmed down he'll be fine.

"You know what he is like and if he comes in and something goes out where it is lost in translation..."

The result took City back above Manchester United on goal difference at the top, but their rivals now play their game in hand against Fulham on Monday.

Platt rubbished claims the Manchester clubs are becoming embroiled in mind games as the title race hots up.

Earlier this week City's football development executive Patrick Vieira claimed United had shown signs of weakness by bringing Paul Scholes out of retirement. United boss Sir Alex Ferguson then returned fire by saying City's recall of Carlos Tevez, who spent three months in Argentina without permission earlier this season, was a greater sign of desperation.

Platt said: "It doesn't matter what the ammunition is and what words are. It is all about amassing points.

"It is not about winning leagues because of mind games. It is about players going onto a pitch to play football and gain points. If we have more points than them at the end of the season everyone will perceive that Robbie has won the war of words.

"If it is the other way round, people will perceive Sir Alex has won it, but it is inconsequential really. It is about what both teams do on the pitch."

Platt claimed he did not see the Whitehead incident but said Stoke had been tough opponents.

He said: "You know it is going to be difficult when you come here, you know what to expect. It is a great goal, no doubt about it. It is route one from the goalkeeper, what you expect - but you know as soon as it has left his foot, if it is on target, it is going in the back of the goal."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis did not give a conclusive answer when asked if Mancini had refused to shake his hand after the game. "He has got to do what he has got to do," he said.

Pulis preferred to speak about the character of his players, who refused to let City impose themselves, and was particularly impressed by Crouch.

He said: "It was a very competitive game, a good game. We were disappointed in the first half we never got a penalty - we thought (Gareth) Barry's challenge on (Glenn) Whelan was a definite penalty.

"In the second half, Crouchy's goal was fantastic. He does that in training, it is not a one-off. Technically he is a very gifted young lad. I thought he was fantastic today, the best player on the pitch. He led us really with his spirit, attitude and commitment, never mind his technical ability.

"We have just played three games against Chelsea, Liverpool and Spurs, all away, so this was a fantastic performance. They are an honest group of players who work very hard."

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