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Wednesday, September 26, 2012
Maicon backs combative stance of coach

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Manchester City newcomer Maicon thinks there would be something wrong if manager Roberto Mancini did not get himself embroiled in sideline spats.

"If he gets angry he reminds everybody of the standards required," the Brazil international said on Wednesday. "There is a minimum requirement that is always there. The players know they have to perform at that level."

Mancini fell out with Aston Villa counterpart Paul Lambert during his side's Capital One Cup defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night.

Lambert was annoyed at Mancini talking to the fourth official, and the Italian reacted to his objections.

It is not the first time he has fallen out with the man in the opposite dugout.

He almost came to blows with Everton's David Moyes two seasons ago, while during last year's crucial Manchester derby in April, Sir Alex Ferguson blew his top for the same reason Lambert got wound up Tuesday.

However, rather than view it as a sign of weakness in a manager struggling to work out why last season's champion team have slipped so alarmingly during the early weeks of the current campaign, Maicon feels it is an essential factor in any high-profile manager.

Speaking at the launch of City in the Community's latest Connell Award with Manchester Futsal Club, Maicon said: "There is a minimum requirement that is always there. The players know they have to perform at that level."

Mancini even earns a comparison with what the British media call Ferguson's 'hairdryer treatment' in the dressing room when his team or player underperforms.

"All winning coaches are the same, so if Sir Alex has the hairdryer, Roberto has the same passion," Maicon said. "All winning managers are the same. They show this passion to the players because they really want to win and the players can feel that.

"Roberto is no different. He's a winning manager."

Having spent three years working with Mancini at Inter Milan, Maicon was happy to rejoin his former boss in the summer, bringing an end to his six-year stint at the San Siro.

He has not noticed any major differences, other than his manager now being slightly thinner than he was before.

Yet that sense of familiarity was one of the major reasons behind his decision to join City.

"Roberto is one of the main factors in choosing this club," Maicon said. "To have someone I have worked with who can help me. I know what he wants and what kind of manager he is."

Unfortunately Maicon has not been able to cement the union quite as well as he wanted.

The 31-year-old has been sidelined since picking up a heel injury on his debut at Stoke last month.

And while he hopes to be fit for Saturday's trip to Fulham, Maicon knows there are major issues to address given last night's defeat means the Blues are now conceding, on average, two goals a game this term, and have now gone four matches without a win in all competitions.

"It is difficult to say why it is happening because I only just arrived at the club," he said. "The beginning of the season is difficult and a lot of clubs are conceding goals.

"But I know that Roberto is very focused on it. He wants to improve and we have to improve quickly because we can't afford to have any more distance between us and the teams at the top of the league."

Such difficulties are not what most City fans imagined their club would be experiencing so soon after that landmark Premier League title triumph.

Maicon is not worried, though.

He is still relishing life in the Premier League, despite being warned of the rain-lashed Manchester climate by fellow countryman Robinho, the first of Sheikh Mansour's marquee signings but someone who never settled in the city.

"I used to see the Premier League in Italy," Maicon said. "Even if I have only played one game, the atmosphere is even better than I saw.

"Robinho warned me about the weather and he also said that the city itself and the people were very nice," he added. I agree with everything he said. I consider myself very lucky to be part of the Premier League."




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