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Page last updated at 08:44 GMT, Friday, 5 February 2010

Wayne Bridge 'can cope' with Manchester City comeback


Bridge is coping well - Mancini

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says Wayne Bridge will be mentally ready to face Hull on Saturday.

The 29-year-old has been in the spotlight this week over allegations that his former girlfriend had a relationship with Chelsea's John Terry.

Mancini said the issue has affected Bridge but maintained that "it's not a problem on the training ground".

The defender has been out for two months after injuring his knee but is in line for a first-team return.

Mancini also revealed that he has spoken to Fabio Capello's assistant Franco Baldini about the effects the Terry furore has had on Bridge.

"I spoke with Baldini on Monday morning," said Mancini, who takes his side to meet Chelsea on 27 February. "He asked me about Wayne and I told him that he is training every day.

"I said it is not a good moment in his head but it's not a problem on the training ground. It's important he can play now and not think about the other person.

"Wayne can play on Saturday. He has been working with us for 10 days and there are no problems.

"I spoke with Wayne two days ago, three days ago and yesterday. He wants to play on Saturday and I think he can."

Bridge has kept a low profile since the story came to light last week and has said he will not be commenting on the alleged affair.

"The reports deal with matters which are of a deeply personal and private nature," he said in a statement over the weekend.

"My primary concern is the welfare of my son. Therefore, I intend to make no comment whatsoever either now or in the future about these reports and ask that my privacy is respected."

Bridge's Manchester City team-mates lent their support by wearing "Team Bridge" T-shirts during Sunday's victory over Portsmouth.

The England international has been at City since January 2009 when he left Chelsea.

He started his career at Southampton and also had a loan spell at Fulham in 2006.

Terry is to discuss his future as England captain with team boss Fabio Capello on Friday.

Capello is expected to announce his England squad on 28 February for the friendly against Egypt at Wembley on 3 March.

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see also
Capello strips Terry of captaincy
05 Feb 10 |  Football
England captain role 'overstated'
04 Feb 10 |  Football
Man City players support Bridge
31 Jan 10 |  Man City
FA refuses to comment over Terry
30 Jan 10 |  Football
Bridge seals transfer to Man City
03 Jan 09 |  Man City

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