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Nov 9, 2012

Platt backs 'frustrated' Mancini

Manchester City first-team coach David Platt defended manager Roberto Mancini over his conduct following the Champions League draw with Ajax.

Mancini escaped a UEFA charge after going onto the pitch to confront Danish referee Peter Rasmussen, who had denied City a winner - with Sergio Aguero's goal ruled offside - and a penalty after Mario Balotelli was tugged by Ricardo van Rhijn in injury time.

The City manager, who had lost his temper on Monday when asked about reports that he had agreed a move to Monaco last season, then reacted when a cameraman pursued him on the Etihad Stadium pitch.

But former England captain Platt said he believes coverage of the incident had been excessive and exaggerated, adding that it was only natural that the Italian had been frustrated.

"We have got back to 2-2 and then we have a free kick in the last few seconds and the camera angles show it is a clear penalty," he said.

"Why wouldn't the manager of a football club be frustrated? Why wouldn't we all be frustrated? Players are frustrated, supporters are frustrated, staff are frustrated.

"Robbie has gone onto the pitch and spoken to the referee. As he comes back, he turns around and has a camera in front of his face for 30 yards.

"He turns around and says, in English, that basically it is enough now. People then want to start talking about what has happened and almost exaggerating the incident. I don't think he is the first manager to go on to the pitch.

"We can sit here and drag it on for another three days, but that's what seems to be happening to us at this moment in time - half voices, half truths. Stories that are probably big enough to go one day are actually lasting a lot longer than that and for what reason, I don't know.

"For three or four press conferences, the manager has not spoken about the next game but about what people want to write about."

Platt refused to criticise Rasmussen for ruling out Aguero's goal, remembering that West Ham's Kevin Nolan was also deemed offside when he struck against City in Saturday's 0-0 draw at Upton Park. He added: "We have a goal disallowed but, at the end of the day, there was a goal disallowed for West Ham, so no one's making too much of that. People make mistakes."

City are bottom of their Champions League group with two points from four games, but remain the only unbeaten team in the Premier League. Platt said: "I've known worse crises."

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