Roberto Mancini has admitted that he is struggling to communicate with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli.
The Italian international has struggled to maintain his discipline on the pitch and was taken off during City’s FA Cup clash against Aston Villa on Wednesday to prevent him picking up a second yellow card.
“He is not listening to me,” Mancini said. “I speak but I don’t think he listens.”
However, Mancini is happy with the player and he is expected to start against Wigan this weekend.
“It is not important that he doesn’t listen to me,” he said. “What is important is that he does well, that he scores.
“But I know he can do better because I know his quality. He can change every game if he wants. He could score in every game. I hope, for him and us, he can understand this very quickly.”
Defender Kolo Toure will not face Wigan after being suspended for failing a drugs test and Mancini is likely to offer an instant recall to Vincent Kompany.
Mancini is also ready to welcome back midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong after a six-match absence with an ankle injury.
“Nigel has been out for a month so it is difficult for him to be 100%,” Mancini said. “Maybe he could be on the bench to play for 20 minutes or half an hour. Then he can be ready for Dynamo Kiev next Thursday.”