Mancini refuses to be distracted

PA Sport
Roberto Mancini
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Roberto Mancini

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is determined not to let the continuing Carlos Tevez saga derail his side's title push.

Mancini made it clear he does not intend to let the publicity surrounding the striker's battle to re-establish himself at City undermine the Barclays Premier League leaders' campaign.

Tevez claimed that Mancini treated him "like a dog", but Mancini said: "I totally disagree with Carlos, what he said, because I have never treated him badly. Maybe it is the opposite, I treated him too well, always. This is the last question I answer (on this) in the next three months. I don't want to talk any more."

It remains to be seen when - or if - Mancini reintegrates the player into his squad.

Tevez's remarks about his treatment by Mancini during last September's infamous Champions League loss at Bayern Munich - aired in a TV interview given before he flew back to England - appear to have further damaged the pair's relationship.

They did not meet when Tevez returned from his unauthorised leave to undergo a medical at City's training ground on Tuesday.

Tevez, who has not been registered to play in the Europa League, was given his own fitness plan and did not train with the squad ahead of the last-32 first-leg tie against Porto in Portugal.

Any meeting now will have to wait until after the squad return to England.

Midfielder James Milner insists the situation will not prove a distraction to a side who lead the Premier League by two points with 13 games remaining.

He said: "There are more people stood outside the training ground but to us we just go out there and work hard every day in training, like we have all year. Nothing changes, our focus is on the games coming up. The only thing we will do is go out there and try to win football matches."

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