Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini today played down his latest confrontation with controversial striker Mario Balotelli.
Mancini was yesterday photographed grappling with his fellow Italian in a training ground bust-up, but the City boss insists the matter was not serious.
Mancini, speaking ahead of this weekend's FA Cup third-round clash with Watford, said: "I think the photos show the worst of what happened. It was nothing special. There was no fight, this was not true."
The incident occurred after a bad tackle by Balotelli on Scott Sinclair during a training match.
Mancini said: "We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate. I said to him, 'Go inside, leave the pitch'. He said no and I took his shirt and pushed him out of the pitch. This is what really happened, nothing special."
When asked if he lost his temper, Mancini said: "No, no. For two seconds, yes – during three or four seconds because he didn't want to leave the pitch. He can't do this against no-one, but then it was finished."
The clash is one of a number of controversies to have involved 22-year-old Balotelli since he joined the club in 2010, but Mancini, who has given the striker numerous chances, insists his patience has not yet run out.
He said: "No, I don't change my thoughts for this. I will give him another 100 chances if possible, if I think he can change."