Mancini - Bridge happy to play
Roberto Mancini believes Wayne Bridge is welcoming the distraction of being able to play football again.
Last Updated: 05/02/10 8:44am
Roberto Mancini has suggested Wayne Bridge is welcoming the distraction of being able to play football again after the Manchester City boss admitted it has not been 'a good moment' mentally for the full-back.
Media revelations over the past week have alleged that Bridge's former Chelsea team-mate John Terry had an affair with his ex-girlfriend.
The allegations have prompted claims that Bridge would find it difficult to play alongside Terry for England, with general manager Franco Baldini having spoken to Mancini about the matter.
Bridge is expected to return from two months out with a knee injury against Hull City on Saturday and Mancini revealed the left-back is ready to pull on a City shirt again.
"I spoke with Baldini on Monday morning," said Mancini.
"He asked me about Wayne and I told him that he is training every day. I said it's not a good moment in his head, but it's not a problem on the training ground.
"For me, it's important he should play now and not think about the other person.
"Wayne is very important for us. He plays in the national team and he's the best left-back in England and the Premier League - and that's the most important thing for me and the other players.
"I spoke with Wayne two days ago, three days ago and on Wednesday - and he wants to play on Saturday and I think he can play. I am convinced.
"For me he's liking this moment because he can play football again.
"He can think on the pitch, he can think about the Premier League and not think about the other situation."
Mancini would not be drawn on whether Bridge would play for England again and was also pleased to see his City players show support for their team-mate by displaying 'Team Bridge' T-shirts after last week's win over Portsmouth.
When asked if Bridge will play for the national team again, Mancini replied: "I don't know about that - but I think he can play on Saturday.
"He is still good on the pitch where he is working very well and, for me, that is what is important.
"For me, other things are not important. That is his private life. All I know is that he is a fantastic man and a fantastic player.
"I was pleased about the players wearing those T-shirts because it showed they are close to Wayne.
"I like him because he is a good man. I think that they used the shirts after the Portsmouth game and now it's finished because it's important that we think about other things."