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The City boss admits he is baffled by the 22-year-old striker's inconsistency and has warned that his compatriot is in danger of wasting his promising career

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini admits he is baffled by Mario Balotelli after the forward turned in a below-par performance in their 3-2 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday.

Balotelli, who took his place amongst the starting XI ahead of Carlos Tevez, was hauled off for the Argentina international on 52 minutes after a largely ineffectual display.

And, whilst Mancini believes the former Inter man is talented, the 48-year-old was unable to hide his frustration at the striker's recent performances.

"I love Mario but it is important for him to start to think about his job," he told Sky Sports.
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"He has everything to play well but he can't continue to play like today. We wanted more from him.

"When you have a player that has Mario's quality, you cannot understand why he continues to throw it out of the window. It is incredible.

"I have seen players in my life with fantastic quality. But in the end, they did nothing. I don't want Mario to finish like these players. It would be bad for him."

Mancini also defended his decision to start the 22-year-old, highlighting the players physical attributes as a key factor in his decision.

He added: "It is easy to say after the game. I thought Mario could create problems for them. He is young and runs quickly - when you decide before the game this is what you think."

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