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Mancini: It's time for Balotelli to grow up

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has told troubled striker Mario Balotelli to cut the "crap" and concentrate on expressing his talents.

Mancini tells Balotelli to 'grow up'

• Balotelli working to repay Mancini faith
• Balotelli caught throwing darts

Balotelli has been involved in a series of controversial incidents since his summer move from Inter Milan and was recently splashed across the papers after throwing a dart in the direction of some of the club's youth players.

On the pitch, he has been booked nine times and sent off twice in his debut season in England and his needless red card against Dynamo Kiev was blamed for City's early exit from the Europa League.

"He is 20 and at that age people do crap things," Mancini said in The Sun, "but maybe now the time has come for him to help himself and to understand the mistakes he is making. Otherwise he risks throwing away his abilities which are immense. He has scored some beautiful goals this season.

"He should think only about expressing his talents on the pitch and leaving to one side the other matters which have nothing to do with football. If he does not, then everybody in England will begin to make him a target - starting off with the referees.

"I understand him and everybody has infinite patience with Mario. Everyone at Manchester City has always helped him and wish him the best."

Balotelli was fined two weeks' wages following his kick-out at Dynamo's Goran Popov last month and faces disciplinary action over the dart-throwing incident.

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