Mario can help us win title! Lescott backs returning striker Balotelli to lead City charge
10:01 GMT, 26 April 2012
Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott has backed Mario Balotelli to make an impact in the title run-in after serving his three match ban for a red card picked up at Arsenal.
The Italian striker played like a man possessed at Emirates Stadium last month, kicking a post, scuffing the ground in anger, cutting down Alex Song with a knee-high challenge which went unchallenged, and later being sent off for a second yellow card.
Look who's back: Balotelli is ready to return to City's squad after serving a ban
Balotelli's performance led manager Roberto Mancini to suggest the forward wouldn't feature again this season.
However, Lescott has revealed that all has been been forgiven in the dressing room after the 1-0 reverse against Arsenal.
England international said, speaking at his recent LescottStweart fashion launch: '[Mario] needs to look at his performances
and if he sees he’s disappointed the lads, it’s great that he’s realised
No laughing matter: Mario Balotelli is available for Manchester City again
'He's a young lad, we all make mistakes and it's going to happen. When I was his age I was making mistakes in the Championship and it was going unnoticed.'
Balotelli's performance was the latest in a long list of blotches on his copybook, and came in the wake of tabloid stories about liaisons with a prostitute linked to Wayne Rooney.