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Mancini: Balotelli deaf to my advice

Roberto Mancini has admitted that he is struggling to get through to hot-headed Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.

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Italian international Balotelli has scored six goals in ten Premier League games this season but has struggled to maintain his discipline on the pitch and was substituted during City's FA Cup clash against Aston Villa this week to prevent him picking up a second red card for the season.

As his former boss at Inter Milan, Mancini should have known what to expect when he spent £24 million on the 20-year-old. However, any thoughts the pair have a special relationship can quickly be dismissed.

"He is not listening to me,'' Mancini said. "I speak but I don't think he listens.''

However, as long as Balotelli continues to score and work hard for the team Mancini will be happy and the striker should be handed another chance to shine against Wigan this weekend.

"It is not important that he doesn't listen to me,'' he said. "What is important is that he does well, that he scores.

"But I know he can do better because I know his quality. He can change every game if he wants. He could score in every game. I hope, for him and us, he can understand this very quickly.''

Defender Kolo Toure will not face Wigan after being suspended for failing a drugs test and Mancini is likely to offer an instant recall to Vincent Kompany, providing the Belgium international reports for duty without pain after a recent hip complaint.

Mancini is also ready to welcome back midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong after a six-match absence with an ankle injury, although the combative Dutchman will have to be content with a place on the bench.

"Nigel has been out for a month so it is difficult for him to be 100%,'' Mancini said. "Maybe he could be on the bench to play for 20 minutes or half an hour. Then he can be ready for Dynamo Kiev next Thursday.''


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