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City dismiss talk of revolt

Manchester City have told ESPN that reports of a player revolt against manager Roberto Mancini have been greatly exaggerated.

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Joe Hart and Micah Richards have both fallen foul of Mancini this season for remarks they made in the immediate wake of Champions League defeats to Real Madrid and Ajax.

Hart was critical of the manner in which City had thrown away a lead to lose 3-2 at the Bernabeu, while Richards indicated after the 3-1 defeat at Ajax that the players had struggled with the manager's tactical changes.

Those remarks, in the context of the disappointing start to City's European season, had led to talk that the players were unhappy with Mancini's methods, but the club insist there is no rebellion at Eastlands.

A City source said: "There is no players' revolt against the manager. That has been way overegged."

The source added that players interviewed in the immediate aftermath of a result often end up "being the centre of a controversy they didn't intend" and stressed that the club sympathised with their situations.

Meanwhile, City midfielder Gareth Barry has praised Mancini for his tactical changes and substitutions in Saturday's 1-0 win against Swansea.

Mancini was criticised for his controversial second-half decision to go from a back four to a back three against Ajax, but Barry said Saturday's tactical switch was key to City's fourth successive league victory.

The manager removed Aleksandar Kolarov and brought on Mario Balotelli, asking Sergio Aguero to play on the left wing and Carlos Tevez to operate in the hole behind Balotelli.

And Barry said: "It was a good change. Carlos pressed the [Swansea] lads that were holding midfield and put them under a lot of pressure.

"The period we were on top in the first 20 minutes of the second half was probably down to that, so it was a good change. It's nice to talk about a positive one."

England international Barry his team-mates were happier with a four-man defence than three at the back, but accepted that they had to adjust.

"I missed the whole pre-season with my operation but the lads said they worked on three at the back. The manager wanted it as a Plan B," he said.

"The players didn't seem to be overly confident playing it, but if the manager wants to go with it you have to do your best and respect it."


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