Mancini: Home comforts no excuse for misfiring Robinho
Published 16/01/2010 | 05:00
ROBERTO MANCINI has challenged Robinho to prove he can perform away from Eastlands after admitting that the £32.5m Manchester City forward has room for improvement in his game.
The Brazilian has scored just three goals away from home since his British-record transfer from Real Madrid in September 2008, a return which prompted former manager Mark Hughes to overlook him numerous times in away fixtures.
With City set to face Everton at Goodison Park today, both the team and Robinho face arguably their toughest test since Mancini's arrival last month.
And Mancini insists that Robinho's performance levels should not drop simply because he is not playing at Eastlands.
Mancini said: "It is impossible that one player can always play well or always play badly. Robinho is a good player, technically very good, but I think he can improve and the pitch is the same whether you are at home or away.
"Away from home, the opponents are sometimes more aggressive and I think that Everton will be a tough game, the toughest yet. Robinho understands all of that. If he works hard, it is best for the team. He is technically a top player.
"He has played for Brazil and for Real Madrid and I don't want to change his mentality, but I think he can improve in certain situations. It is not important what Robinho cost. The most important thing is how he plays now."
Mancini is set to be without the injured Stephen Ireland and Patrick Vieira, who is expected to make his City debut in next week's FA Cup tie at Scunthorpe. (Daily Telegraph, London)
Man City v Everton,
Live, ESPN, 5.30