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Dec 16, 2011

Mancini: City can bounce back

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says his side are determined to bounce back from the disappointment of losing their unbeaten record on Sunday as the Premier League leaders entertain a resurgent Arsenal.

Mancini: Balotelli spat was 'boxing training'

• Preview: Man City v Arsenal
• Balotelli in training bust-up

City lost 2-1 to Chelsea on Monday night and could lose top spot this weekend if Manchester United manage to beat Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road before they entertain the Gunners. However, Mancini is confident that his players can lift themselves to overcome their defeat.

"I think that at these moments we should be strong," said Mancini. "After one defeat, we can improve - we know what we can do, and in this moment we can become stronger.

"We have never had a problem bouncing back after a defeat, and I am sure we will do it again. We play Arsenal on Sunday and at the moment Arsenal are playing very well. It will be difficult but we need to start again. What is important is that we start to win again."

City captain Vincent Kompany claimed that the defeat at Chelsea had brought the club's first team closer together.

"Losing at Chelsea has made us feel more hungry," he said. "We want to play football again as quickly as possible. That is the kind of team we are. We don't like to lose. We still feel for a team playing away at Chelsea we showed a lot of courage, especially in the first half."

Mancini also laughed off the latest Mario Balotelli controversy but added that he wants the striker to stay out of the spotlight.

Balotelli was again the focus of media attention after a training ground bust-up with team-mate Micah Richards. It is merely the latest in a long line of headline-making off-field incidents involving the unpredictable Italian, who in October revealed a T-shirt asking, 'Why Always Me?' after scoring against Manchester United.

And Mancini said: ''I asked him, 'Why always you?' He said it was because he didn't pass the ball to him. It was a really stupid thing, it was nothing. After 10 minutes it was finished.

''When you play a match eight versus eight and you are passionate, it can happen with every team. Not every week, but often. Mario and Micah were boxing, but they are like twins. They are very good friends.

''This has happened with Mario four times now - he is the king for this. But it has happened with other players. However, Mario should pay attention, not just about this, but in every situation. We are near Christmas, at the end of the year it is a very dangerous time for fireworks. It is better he stays in the hotel!''

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