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Page last updated at 23:17 GMT, Saturday, 16 January 2010

Roberto Mancini backs struggling Brazilian Robinho

Robinho and Roberto Mancini
Robinho looks away from Mancini after being replaced in the Everton defeat

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insisted Robinho still has a future at the club after he was humiliatingly substituted at Everton on Saturday.

The Brazilian international replaced the injured Roque Santa Cruz after nine minutes - but was himself substituted on the hour by Shaun Wright-Phillips.

"Is it the end of the line for Robinho? No. He is a good player," said Mancini, after City's 2-0 defeat.

"Like everyone in the squad, he needs to work hard and play well."

Mancini added: "I had [Craig] Bellamy, Benjani [Mwaruwari], [Carlos] Tevez, Robinho - all strikers - so I decided to take one off.".

PHIL MCNULTY BLOG

Robinho, 25, who has failed to score for City since May 2009, was recently linked with a move to Barcelona.

However, the Spanish club called off their attempt to sign the Brazilian.

Robinho told BBC Sport in December 2009 that his long-term future was at the Manchester club, despite failing to reach the expected heights there.

"I am very happy here. I think I [will] stay here five years or 10 years, I don't know," he told Football Focus.

"My family is very happy, the fans love me and I love the fans."

The striker joined City from Real Madrid in August 2008 for a British record fee of £32.5m.



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see also
Saturday football as it happened
16 Jan 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
16 Jan 10 |  Football
Lescott move still rankles Moyes
16 Jan 10 |  Everton
Everton 2-0 Man City
16 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Barcelona rule out Robinho switch
21 Dec 09 |  Man City
Man City ditch Hughes for Mancini
19 Dec 09 |  Man City
Robinho vows to stay at Man City
11 Dec 09 |  Man City
Robinho aims for title with City
02 Sep 08 |  Man City


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