Sport Soccer

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Mancini backs ‘fantastic’ Silva to come good after slow start

Sandy Macaskill

DAVID SILVA has been backed by his manager Roberto Mancini to overcome a disappointing start to life at Manchester City.

The 24-year-old Spaniard, who joined from Valencia for £26m in the summer, has yet to find his feet in England, but Mancini insists that it is just a case of getting the reps in.

Silva’s slight physical stature and failure to make an impact have led to suggestions that he might find himself out of his depth in the dog-eat-dog world of the English game.

Part of the problem — at least City supporters hope that it is — has been the fact that the winger has hardly been able to train with his new team.

He was late back for pre-season training, having been part of Spain’s World Cup squad, and since then he has been restricted to one league start.

Everyone, including the man himself, thinks that it is a matter of time and matches.

“I am getting there, just more slowly than I would have liked,” said Silva. “I need a few more minutes on the pitch.”


He is likely to get his chance against Salzburg tonight. The Austrian side won all of their group matches in the Europa League last season, beating Lazio, Villarreal and Levski Sofia both home and away, so they are no mugs, but Mancini knows that Silva needs game time.

“He is ready to play,” Mancini said. “He is a fantastic player, good technique. Every player who comes to the Premier League for the first two months has some problems.

“When I play him for four or five games, everything will be normal. At least he is showing what he is capable of on the training pitch.”

His team-mate, Nigel de Jong, added: “He has a lot of qualities. He is a terrific, skilful player. He is sure to light up the league. He will adapt after the first couple of months. It isn’t easy, but he’ll get there. This will be a good step for him.”

Mancini has also been required to voice his support for goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was culpable for Nikola Kalinic’s goal for Blackburn at the weekend. Hart will start tonight, rather than Ireland No 1 Shay Given, who would normally have expected to have used Europe to get his gloves dirty.

“He saved many against Tottenham (on the first day of the season),” Mancini said. “Mistakes happen.” (© Daily Telegraph, London)

MANCHESTER CITY (from) – Hart, Given, Taylor, Zabaleta, Richards, K Toure, Kompany, Boyata, Bridge, Cunningham, De Jong, Vieira, Wright-Phillips, Y Toure, Silva, Barry, Milner, Johnson, Tevez, Jo.

Salzburg v ManchesterCity

Live, Setanta Irl & ESPN, 5.30

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport