Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has denied suggestions that the past week has been his toughest in football.
City lost 2-0 at Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, leaving them with just one point from two matches, meaning qualification – which is viewed as essential given the money the club has spent – for the last 16 is now in doubt.
But the result was overshadowed by the antics on the substitute bench, as Carlos Tevez allegedly refused to come on while Edin Dzeko rowed with Mancini after being taken off.
Reporters were told not to ask about Tevez’s future, with the press conference beginning with a statement from club spokesperson Vicky Kloss.
“It’s not normally our approach to put restrictions of limitations on press conferences, but I need to make it absolutely clear that questions in relation to Carlos Tevez in general, in relation to his alleged conduct on Tuesday evening, or ramifications of that conduct, and questions in relation to his future at Manchester City, are strictly off limits and will not be answered,” Kloss said.
The journalists in attendance managed to sneak a few indirect questions through, which led to Mancini dismissing the claim that he had endured a tough week.
“Why is it difficult?” Mancini said.
“Some situations can happen in football, in your job. It’s important that the past is finished.”
“I don’t have any complications. Only one complication that we had two days ago is that we lost against Bayern Munich, only this.”
“We started very well (and) we can do a fantastic season, I don’t have this problem. It is normal that one player is not happy to leave the pitch in an important game or to stay on the bench, it’s a normal situation for every manager.”
Mancini was quizzed on what responsibility he had in relation to the Tevez saga, but the Italian brushed his hands of any future involvement with the Argentine.
“It is finished,” he said.
“I am the manager, our focus is regarding the Premier League, the Champions League and the FA Cup. Other things – it is not my problem.”
QPR manager Neil Warnock also weighed into the debate, suggesting Tevez should leave England as soon as possible.
“I think the sooner he leaves the country the better,” Warnock said.
“When something happens like that and it poses so many problems for a manager, then I’m obviously on the manager’s side.”
“I can’t see it being sorted by him staying. And I would imagine he is already looking down the line of his next move and within a few months he will be kissing another badge.”