De Jong gets City support

Boss publicly backs under-fire midfielder after leg break tackle

De Jong: Received Mancini backing

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Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has publically backed Nigel de Jong following his tackle which broke Hatem Ben Arfa's leg.

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The Newcastle ace was left with a broken tibia and fibula after De Jong's challenge in the early exchanges of the Magpies' 2-1 defeat at Eastlands on Sunday.

The midfielder has since been dropped from the Dutch squad for the forthcoming Euro 2012 qualifiers against Moldova and Sweden by coach Bert van Marwijk, who branded the challenge both 'wild' and 'unnecessary'.

De Jong had already arrived in Holland when he found out the news and so has travelled back to England to resume training with City.

And Eastlands boss Mancini has come out publically to back his under-fire player - who was not booked for the tackle at the time - in the face of intense media interest.

The City boss told the club's official website: "I don't want to comment about Nigel not being called up by his national team as it is a matter for the Dutch Federation.

Naturally competitive

"However, as his club manager, I wish to say that whilst he is naturally competitive, Nigel is first and foremost a great player as well as being honest and loyal and I support him wholeheartedly.

"I also want to take this opportunity to wish Ben Arfa, who I rate very highly, a speedy recovery and I hope to see him back in action soon."

De Jong previously attracted criticism in July's World Cup final for kicking Spain's Xabi Alonso in the chest.

The challenge earned him only a yellow card but English referee Howard Webb later said he wished he had shown a red instead.

And back in March, Bolton's United States midfielder Stuart Holden suffered a fracture to his right fibula after a challenge by De Jong on international duty for which the City midfielder was booked.