Balotelli backs under-fire Mancini
Mario Balotelli has urged former side Manchester City to stick with Roberto Mancini, claiming the Italian has the backing of the players.
City manager Mancini has come under pressure due to the club's poor performance in the Champions League, where they finished bottom of their group, while they are also 12 points behind Manchester United at the top of the Premier League table.
However, the controversial striker - who had his fair share of run-ins with his ex-boss - indicated that the 48-year-old is well-liked among the players and would be impossible to replace.
"There is nobody better for City," Balotelli was quoted as saying by The Sun. "Most importantly, the players like him.
"If you asked who they want next season, every single player would say Roberto. He's not just their coach but also their friend."
The 22-year-old, who left the Etihad Stadium for AC Milan in January, also believes Mancini's record means he deserves more time at the helm.
He added: "Look at the success Roberto has had — the FA Cup and a first championship in over 40 years.
"Even Alex Ferguson does not win a trophy every year — but he always comes back."
City face Chelsea in their next Premier League match on Sunday, by which time they could be a massive 15 points behind rivals United, if Sir Alex Ferguson's men beat QPR on Saturday.