Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 1/4/13
Roberto Mancini has dismissed his training-ground altercation with Mario Balotelli as "nothing special". The Manchester City manager was pictured angrily confronting his striker during training on Thursday, raising new questions over Balotelli's future at the club. But Mancini told a press conference Balotelli will not face disciplinary action and the incident will not spell the end of the 22-year-old's Eastlands career. He said: "We were playing a game and Mario kicked his team-mate. I told him to leave the pitch, he said 'no', and I took his shirt and pushed him from the pitch. That is what really happened - nothing special, no fight. "These are things that can happen, usually between players. This was different because I wanted him to leave the pitch for what he did against another player." Asked whether he would now look to sell Balotello, Mancini said: "No, no, no, no. This is not important - it doesn't change my thoughts on this. "I will give him another 100 chances if possible, if I think he can change. I am here for this. Sometimes I am upset with him, but I give him another chance, sure. He is 22 and he can make a mistake." Mancini has more often than not backed his fellow Italian despite a series of high-profile incidents - on and off the pitch - since the striker's 2010 arrival from Inter. The manager did question Balotelli's future after a sending-off at Arsenal last season, but he was back in the fold by May and set up the Sergio Aguero goal which secured City's first league title since 1968. Bristol Rovers centre-back Garry Kenneth will return from suspension to give John Ward a selection boost. The new manager of the Pirates has lost both Cian Bolger and Matt Lund this week after the on-loan pair returned to Leicester and Stoke respectively. And in addition to the return of Kenneth, back after a one-game ban, the former Cheltenham boss hopes to bring in another new face before kick-off. Striker Dave Clarkson missed the vital 2-1 win over Plymouth with a swollen ankle and the visit of the high-flying Gills is expected to come too soon for the former Motherwell man. Recently-released Aldershot striker Guy Madjo is currently training with the Rovers squad for two days as Ward assesses the former Plymouth and Bristol City attacker. John Ward remains without long-term injury absentees Scott Bevan (wrist), club captain Matt Gill (knee) and Matt Harrold (knee) while defender Adam Virgo is also out. Ben Strevens will still be considered for selection as League Two leaders Gillingham make the trip to Bristol Rovers. The striker - who has made 15 appearances this term, mostly off the bench - was one of three players made available for free transfer by Gills boss Martin Allen on Thursday, along with Connor Essam and Ross Flitney. However, Allen has confirmed Strevens will be in his squad to face Rovers. Midfielder Bradley Dack was an unused substitute in the impressive 1-0 win at Southend on New Year's Day but he will not be involved having joined non-league Braintree on a month-long loan deal. Allen is not expected to have any injury or suspension problems for the encounter as the Gills aim to strengthen their grip on top spot.
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