Mancini backs Bridge call
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini does not expect left-back Wayne Bridge to have any problems representing England next month.
Last Updated: 12/02/10 5:50pm
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini does not envisage Wayne Bridge having any problems about representing England next month in the wake of the John Terry saga.
Bridge could be thrust into the Three Lions' starting XI for next month's friendly against Egypt after first-choice left-back Ashley Cole broke his ankle while playing for Chelsea at Everton last Wednesday.
And Bridge could be set to continue the role during this summer's World Cup in South Africa if Cole's recovery does not go as planned, with the Blues defender out for three months.
That has raised inevitable questions about the 29-year-old's ability to play alongside deposed captain Terry, given the recent furore over the pair's private lives. However, Mancini does not see a problem.
"He never told me that he wouldn't play for England," said the Italian.
"The national team is important. I have not spoken to him but I think, if he is picked, he will play."
While Mancini has obviously spent time with the former Chelsea player and is able to assess his mood, the City boss is equally nonplussed as to why Bridge might consider turning his country down.
"He is committed to playing for England," stressed Mancini.
"It is important for any player to play at the World Cup. It is important for their career, especially if they can play in the first XI."
Of more immediate importance to Mancini is the fact Bridge is only two matches into his recovery from a knee injury sustained against his old club in December.
"Wayne is a good man," said Mancini. "But he has only just recovered and it still maybe at around 60 per cent."