Mancini: Balotelli must change
It is yet another period on the sidelines for a player who arrived from Inter Milan with such high expectations this summer, but was injured on his debut in the UEFA Europa League qualifier against Timisoara.
Balotelli has still only made four appearances for City this term, a totally inadequate figure for Mancini's purposes, and one he needs to improve on.
"He must change his mentality," said Mancini. "He must think about playing because if he plays here he can score every game.
"He can't afford to talk with the referee. He needs to think about his job because he can make a difference on the pitch."
Yet Balotelli continues to attract headlines for the wrong reasons. He was spotted eating with Milan officials on a recent trip back home and was then the subject of racial taunts in midweek when
"In the world there are a lot of stupid people," reflected Mancini on the latter incident. "I am not worried about it because he is a strong character.
"But he must start to play before he leaves. He has a five-year contract and he has only played four games."