Roberto Mancini claims he is disappointed to learn that Wayne Rooney will not face Manchester City in the FA Cup.
The Manchester United striker has seen a two-match ban upheld by the Football Association following a foul-mouthed celebration in a meeting with West Ham last weekend.
That suspension means Rooney will play no part in a Premier League fixture against Fulham on Saturday and the eagerly-anticipated FA Cup semi-final against City on 16th April.
His absence comes as a major blow to United, and a major boost to City as they look to sweep aside their arch-rivals at Wembley.
Mancini, though, believes such occasions are made for the brightest stars in the game and had hoped that Rooney would be available to line-up against his side.
He told Sky Sports News, with a smile: "We are disappointed. When you play in games like this, it is important that all of the best players play. But if he can't play, okay."
Asked if he felt the FA ruling was right, Mancini added: "I don't know. I think the managers and players here have a lot of respect for the referee and the FA."
The City boss was also pressed on Emmanuel Adebayor's future, following a two-goal showing by the striker in Real Madrid's 4-0 victory over Tottenham on Tuesday.
The Togolese frontman has expressed a desire to make his loan spell at Real permanent, and Mancini admits he would be prepared to sanction such a switch.
He said: "I am happy for him. I am happy that he scored two goals and I hope he will continue to score goals. At the end of the season we will see. If he wants to stay, he can. I am happy for him because Manu is a good player."
Mancini has also leapt to the defence of Gareth Barry after he was criticised by Joey Barton.
Barry was rested on Sunday in the victory against Sunderland after wearing the skipper's armband for England in the draw with Ghana the previous week.
Despite winning that honour the midfielder has been ridiculed by Newcastle midfielder Barton, who described Barry in a French football magazine as "a teacher's pet."
Mancini believes Barton has little to shout about and said: "Joey Barton is a good player but Gareth Barry is a fantastic player.
"I can say only this. It is a situation that is not important to me."