Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Mancini wants Balotelli to step up

Mario Balotelli

Roberto Mancini has called on Mario Balotelli to become a Manchester City hero this weekend.

Although there has been no official confirmation from City, it seems highly unlikely that skipper Carlos Tevez will have recovered from a hamstring injury in time to face old club Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday.

That would leave Mancini to come up with a striking solution, with Balotelli most likely to get the nod given he has scored 10 times already for City since his arrival from Inter Milan last summer. "Mario knows he must take more responsibility," said Mancini.

"We have six league games, plus the semi-final and the final. I hope Mario can score important goals.

"He could be the hero. On Saturday, if he plays, he has a chance to do well.

"Maybe if he scores a goal it could take us to the final. That would change his year."

Mancini has pledged that City will do everything possible to get Tevez fit.

It appears unlikely though, even if fears that he might be out for the rest of the season when he limped off at Anfield prove unfounded.

"It will be very difficult for Saturday but he should be okay to return in two weeks," said Mancini.

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre