Norwich's Garrido full of respect for former boss Mancini

The Spaniard was given a way back into the Manchester City team by Mancini after getting frozen out by Mark Hughes and he comes face-to-face with the Italian on Saturday

Norwich City left-back Javier Garrido has spoken of his respect for Roberto Mancini after the Italian gave him the chance to resurrect his Manchester City career when he took over from Mark Hughes.

Garrido joined City from Real Sociedad in 2007, playing under Sven Goran-Eriksson, intermittently under Hughes and then seeing more playing time for a few months with Mancini, but he harbours no ill-feeling towards the Italian for moving him on.

The Spaniard left Manchester for Lazio before a lack of regular football in Rome saw Norwich make a loan move for him in the summer, but he still looks back fondly at his time in Manchester.

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Talking to reporters after the Chelsea defeat, Garrido said: “My relationship with Mancini was good. I was struggling to be involved with Mark Hughes, then as soon as he arrived he gave me a chance.

“I scored a goal against Wolves and after that I started playing more regularly but when the summer transfer window arrived, [Aleksandar] Kolarov came in so I had the opportunity to move to Lazio.

“I have very good memories of City. I still have some good friends there so I will use the opportunity to see them, but I will do my best to help the team get three points.

“Everything changed from one year to another. When you have got the money to buy big players, competition for places is always there, and that’s what happened. The experience was great.

“Obviously I wanted to play, but it wasn’t as much as I would have liked so I decided to go to Italy.

“Mancini has a lot of experience, even more now. Even back then he had a big name and he has shown he can do anything he wants because he has got everything to help reach titles.

“When you win the title with Man City after many years without winning it, I don’t think anybody can say anything. At the moment there are some rumours, or so I have heard, but in general he is a very good manager.

“I don’t have anything against him. It was a very normal situation that happened. I left the club, but I don’t have anything against any of the players or even the manager. I left because I wanted to play.”

The 27-year-old went on to talk about the unfortunate defeat to Chelsea, but he highlighted the ability of some of Rafa Benitez’s players and admitted a result against the Blues was always going to be tough.

“They have a lot of quality players, like Mata,” he continued. “He is doing so well with everything at the moment. Whenever Chelsea got forward he was there, and he is scoring.

“He kicks the ball so well. We have worked hard to not concede so many goals, but it came down to the quality they’ve got. He is one of the top players in the league, not just for this game.

“In general he is a very good player and is very important for Chelsea, but it is not just Mata. They’ve got [Fernando] Torres, Oscar, [Eden] Hazard. It is Chelsea. They have the money to buy very good quality players.”

With first-team football treating Garrido well in Norfolk, he admitted he would be very interested in remaining at Norwich after the summer and making his loan move a permanent deal.

He added: “I would like to stay because I am playing and that is the most important thing for a footballer.

“I have settled in so well in the City, in the club. People here have been happy with me as well, so why not?”