Monday 18 December 2017

Bridge will face Chelsea, says Mancini

Roberto Mancini has insisted he has no intention of resting Wayne Bridge against Chelsea. Photo: Getty Images
Roberto Mancini has insisted he has no intention of resting Wayne Bridge against Chelsea. Photo: Getty Images

Mark Ogden

Wayne Bridge will face John Terry at Stamford Bridge tomorrow after Roberto Mancini insisted he has no intention of resting the Manchester City defender against Chelsea.

Bridge retired from international football on Thursday as a direct result of Terry’s alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the mother of Bridge’s young son.

The two players have not met since the scandal broke last month, but the head-to-head at Stamford Bridge will ensure an unavoidable meeting between the former Chelsea and England team-mates.

Yet despite suggestions that Bridge may not be ready to come face-to-face with Terry, Manchester City manager Mancini insists he will be picked to play.

Mancini said: “Wayne will be in the team for this game. Absolutely. Why not?

“It’s an important game and we need our important players to play for us.

“I hope he will have a good mentality for the game and that he will play well.

“It is a big game for our future in the league and I hope that Wayne can play well.”

Bridge’s decision to call time on his England career has been met with surprise throughout the game.

And Mancini admits he was unaware of Bridge’s intentions before his statement was released on Thursday.

Mancini said: “The England situation was a difficult decision for him. It was his decision and I respect that.

“I didn’t speak to him before he made the decision.

“I thought he would be in the national team, but it is his decision. I don’t know what’s changed because when I spoke about this two weeks ago, I thought Wayne would carry on for England, but only he can explain his decision.

“I am sorry for him and for England because, for me, every player should want to play for their national team, especially at a World Cup.”

Bridge could yet forego a handshake with Terry before the game tomorrow, but Mancini is prepared to leave that decision to the 29-year-old.

He said: “It’s up to him whether or not he shakes hands with Terry before the game.

“Wayne is a good man, he has a strong mentality and if he is able to concentrate only on the match, that will be good for us.”

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