Last Updated: Fri, 06 Apr 2012 08:10
Roberto Mancini has admitted he would have to punch Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli every day if he was a team-mate of his.
The City chief has been left frustrated by his fellow Italian's antics both on and off the pitch throughout the course of this season as he tries to lead the club to the Premier League title.
And, while Mancini claims he is a big fan of the 21-year-old's undoubted qualities which he continues to try and bring out of him for every game; he revealed that Balotelli would leave him tearing his hair out if he played alongside him
Mancini said: "I can understand it. I told him, 'If you played with me, 10 years ago, I give to you every day one punch in your head!'
"I think in every big game he played very well. I think his problem is his concentration but I work with him every day.
"I speak with him - not every day because if not I need a psychologist - but every two days I speak with him. He doesn't lose his quality.
"Mario, as a player, can be one of the top in Europe. I don't want him to lose his talent."
Meanwhile, Mancini concedes his side's title hopes could be over by Sunday night.
The long-time Premier League leaders have fallen five points behind rivals Manchester United with just seven games remaining following a series of costly results in March.
City could even be trailing by eight points by the time they kick off in their next match at Arsenal on Sunday if United beat QPR earlier in the day.
Should that happen, and City then lose to the Gunners, Mancini would accept the race was over.
"If we lose against Arsenal and they beat QPR - yes," added Mancini, when asked if that would be the case.
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