Celts winger in­sists Mancini is fac­ing a su­pe­rior player to the one he signed

Irish Daily Mirror - - SPORT - BY CRAIG SWAN

SCOTT SIN­CLAIR was never able to truly con­vince Roberto Mancini of his abil­i­ties.

But now the Celtic winger wants to show his old boss that’s he a far-im­proved player than the one he signed for £8 mil­lion for Manch­ester City six years ago (be­low).

Hav­ing been un­able to con­vince the for­mer in­ter­na­tional to give him op­por­tu­ni­ties dur­ing their spell to­gether at the Eti­had Sta­dium, there seems lit­tle ques­tion the Park­head ace will have the bit firmly be­tween his teeth.

Sin­clair has no axe to grind. He re­vealed the man­ager (in­set) was noth­ing but fair with him in his ex­pla­na­tions when the pair sat down in the gaffer’s of­fice at City.

None­the­less, with a boss in Bren­dan Rodgers who truly does be­lieve in his abil­i­ties, it’s an ideal time to shine.

Sin­clair said: “I am a bet­ter player at Celtic than I was at City and I’m a very dif­fer­ent player.

“When I went to City, I was high in con­fi­dence be­cause the club bought me, but then I didn’t get any­where close to the games that I wanted and that con­fi­dence does go down a lit­tle bit be­cause I’ve not been play­ing.

“I played only a few games un­der him, but what I would say he’s a good man­ager, a re­ally tac­ti­cal man­ager and I am sure he will be look­ing to win this game.

“He knew ab­so­lutely ev­ery­thing about the op­po­si­tion. He is in­cred­i­bly or­gan­ised as well. He’s a top man­ager. “He did spend a lot of money on me. But then City spent a lot of money on ev­ery­one else as well! That’s the way it was.

“When I went to City there were so many to qual­ity play­ers there who I was com­pet­ing with.

“I would have like to have got more game-time there, but you could go and talk to him. When I wasn’t play­ing, I could go and knock on his door and ask why I wasn’t play­ing.

“He would tell me that it was his fault, not mine and that I was go­ing all that I could do play.

“But City had such a huge squad, so many play­ers, the man­ager did have to leave out so many of us, or put them on the bench, and so he had tough de­ci­sions to make. You had to re­spect him and get on with it.

“He wouldn’t give any spe­cific rea­sons for me not play­ing. He just said, sim­ply, that he had other play­ers to choose from, he was very ap­proach­able when I did want to speak to him. “I don’t have any re­grets about any of my moves be­cause they all teach you and help you be­come the player and man I am. “You have to go through tough times to come out of the end of them and I wouldn’t say I have a point to prove to him. “It’s for my­self. I have al­ways set my own tar­gets, my own level and try to do as well as I can for my­self. I don’t feel as I have any­thing to prove to any­one.”

Tom Rogic’s hopes of re­turn­ing to ac­tion in time to face Zenit St Peters­burg ap­pear to have been dashed. Cen­tre-back Dedryck Boy­ata re­mains out with groin trou­ble and joins Craig Gor­don, Leigh Grif­fiths, Marvin Comp­per, Mikael Lustig, Jonny Hayes, An­thony Ral­ston, Stu­art Arm­strong and Pa­trick Roberts on the side­lines for Celtic. JU­VEN­TUS have en­quired about Arse­nal mid­fielder Jack Wil­shere.

They are set to be dis­ap­pointed be­cause the mid­fielder (be­low) is ready to sign a new deal, de­spite tak­ing a pay cut on his cur­rent salary. Wil­shere, 26, is free to talk to for­eign clubs, but it is un­der­stood he is keen to com­mit him­self to Arse­nal.

BET­TER DEVIL YOU KNOW Scott Sin­clair says he is a bet­ter player now than he was at Man City un­der Mancini

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