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Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Mancini will not accept 'nonsense' from Bellamy and co

Harry Harris, Football Correspondent

ESPN Soccernet has learned that Craig Bellamy can expect a hardline approach from new boss Roberto Mancini if he steps out of line.

Mancini operates a two-strikes-and-you're-out disciplinary code that would spell the end for Bellamy or any dissenters within the Manchester City camp.

An insider who has had personal dealings with Mancini over a long time said: "No one lasts long with Roberto if they step out of line for a second time.

"Roberto is prepared to give everyone a chance, and a fair crack of the whip. He will even give them a second chance - but that is it. If they step out of line again, they can pack up and go. Roberto won't stand any nonsense.

"Bellamy has a long-standing reputation for trouble, but Roberto will want to find out for himself, and will want to find solutions rather than confrontations."

Mancini's tough approach has already got the City players in a sweat. The new boss ordered double training and players to stay overnight in hotels even before home games, something that is routine abroad.

It has been suggested that Mancini was unaware that, because of a recurring knee problem, Bellamy was only expected to do light training and that after 90 minutes Bellamy complained that his knee was hurting.

Bellamy was given permission to leave the session along with skipper Kolo Toure, who complained of a back problem, which indicates that there is no problem so far.

Bellamy and Toure are supposed to have led a six-player delegation to confront chief executive Garry Cook after Mark Hughes was sacked on Saturday, but Cook has already publicly stated that there has not been a revolt among the players.

Reports again suggest that Bellamy and keeper Shay Given are considering their City futures, but again nothing has materialised on this front.

It is an obvious connotation to put Bellamy in the frame to be upset over Hughes' departure as he is said to have been particularly close to him after stints together with Wales and Blackburn.

Despite the tasks facing him, Mancini has no problems dealing with high-profile players and, according to the ESPN Soccernet source, actually relishes the challenge. One of his biggest challenges will be to coax Robinho back to his best with a total commitment to the City cause.

The source said: "With Roberto now in charge, there is every chance you might see Robinho having an Indian summer with City."

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