Is that you, David Mancini arrives at City training in disguise as No 2 Platt
11:14 GMT, 16 November 2012
Roberto Mancini may be under pressure at Manchester City… but he proved he's keeping his sense of humour today.
The City boss arrived at his morning press conference wearing a David Platt mask to the amusement of the assembled press.
Platt has done many of Mancini's planned interviews in recent weeks – to the frustration of the media – so perhaps the Italian was enjoying a little joke at their expense.
Is that you, David Roberto Manncini arrived at Manchester City training wearing a David Platt mask
Right hand man: Platt has been by Mancini's side throughout his tenure at Manchester City
And explaining the stunt, the Italianjoked : 'Do you prefer David or me
'People have been asking about my mood and if I have been upset.
But I had a meeting last week and that was the only reason I didn't come
to the press conference.'
When the press conference turned to more serious matters, Mancini was quick to defend under-fire goalkeeper Joe Hart.
The England stopper endured a miserable midweek trip to Sweden, when he conceded four times, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic's breathtaking acrobatic effort in stoppage time.
But Mancini threw his full support behind his No 1.
'Joe Hart can make mistakes, that is normal for any keeper,' the City boss said.
'And if you make a mistake, you can end up conceding a goal and losing a game.
'This is the life of a keeper, but he is a top performer and I think Ibrahimovic can score against every keeper in the world.
'He is one of the top five strikers in the world. For me, his best goal was the second one but the fourth was incredible.
'Joe is mentally strong and will be OK. Keepers have to be very strong and very strange and Joe is both. All 'keepers are strange to my mind.'
With Hart's position assured, Mancini
explained the exclusion from the last Premier League outing of one of
his other high-profile stars, Mario Balotelli.
Feeling the heat: Joe Hart had a night to forget in Stockholm, when he conceded four goals
The striker was omitted from the matchday squad for last weekend's win over Tottenham, and his manager revealed a poor work ethic in the build up to the game had been to blame.
Mancini explained: 'Mario did not play because that was my choice. We have 20 players to pick from and when any player does not work as well as he should, he does not deserve to play. Mario is like any other player in that respect.
Missing out: Mario Balotelli was axed from City's squad for the Premier League win over Tottenham
'It was not a punishment, but other players were working better than Mario. They deserve to be obnt he bench more than him.
people have said we are like a married couple, but that is not the
case. I know him as a guy. I am the manager and he is the player.
'And if he does not work well, he does not play. That applies to all the players.'