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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 1 day ago
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By ESPN Staff
Sep 25, 2006

Samaras rejects calls of unrest at Man City

Georgios Samaras has hit back at suggestions all is not well inside the Manchester City dressing room.

Despite the weekend win over West Ham, only City's third in 17 matches, speculation has surfaced the Blues players have been left distinctly unimpressed by Stuart Pearce's handling of the uproar surrounding Ben Thatcher's disgraceful challenge on Portsmouth's Pedro Mendes.

It has been reported some figures within the City dressing room believe Pearce did not back Thatcher enough during a disciplinary process that left the former Wales international with an eight-match ban and an added 15-game suspended suspension hanging over his head.

However, fresh from his two-goal man-of-the-match display against the Hammers, Samaras insists the Blues camp is united.

'We are a family in the dressing room,' he told the Manchester Evening News.

'The mentality of the players is excellent. We have a lot of talent and we help one another.

'We know we must improve on our results and we are determined to do so together.'

Samaras has been an inconsistent presence in the City side since his £6million arrival from Heerenveen in January, with Pearce admitting the Greece international still has much to learn.

However, it appears the wise words are being heeded, especially as Samaras has been told to become more aggressive around the penalty area.

'The manager and coaches spoke to me about being more aggressive,' he revealed.

'I feel good about myself and I believe in myself to get goals in games because I have been doing it in training.'