Balotelli promises more of the same
- Sat 21 Aug 2010, 7:12AM
- Posted by Chris Bailey
Mario Balotelli is ready and raring to go if selected against Liverpool on Monday night.
And the Italian who scored the winning goal in Timisoara on Thursday has promised his all-action performance will be a regular event not a one-off.
"I feel good, this is the kind of debut I dreamed of,” he said after the win in Romania before adding that he had no complaints about being on the bench alongside Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson and former teammate at Inter Patrick Vieira.
“I was not expecting to play from the start; the important thing was to play a bit because I have not played at all in the pre-season.”
The 20-year-old, signed only a week ago, sparked worries amongst fans and staff alike when he spent more than 10 minutes receiving treatment behind the goal in Timisoara.
He left the playing arena long after the rest of the City players but today the bruises, bumps and soreness have mostly subsided.
“My right leg aches a bit,” he admitted. “I think it may be a cartilage thing, the problem is I do not have much muscle on this side. It was not the result of a tackle, nobody touched me, I simply overextended the knee.
It is a little bit of a problem, but I’m sure it will go away fast, I will be available against Liverpool
“These are the very first games we are playing together, but we’ll get better and better as a team and I will continue to show up.”
Boss Roberto Mancini was perhaps the least shocked man in Manchester colours at the impact Balotelli had from the left flank.
“He is young and eager and has a lot of talent,” he praised. “He did well when he came on but that is not a surprise. I thought Gareth Barry and David Silva did well too before they came off. The players who were at the World Cup still need time.”
Now Mancini must decide whether Balotelli and the newest of the new boys James Milner start in Monday’s home opener against Liverpool or whether they will be on the bench.