BETTER THAN YOU SINC
Celts winger insists Mancini is facing a superior player to the one he signed
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