Brian Kidd has leapt to the defence of Mario Balotelli after the gifted young Italian came in for criticism for his display at Upton Park.
City critics were quick to point to, and link, Balotelli’s second half booking and subsequent substitution though the world-wise Kiddo was having none of it in the wake of the 3-1 win.
Balotelli has been in the news for goals and discipline since his move from Inter Milan but the assistant manager told reporters that he had no worries about the 21-year-old.
“I am not concerned at all,” Kidd retorted. “He is a young lad who has come into a tough league. It is different from Serie A and it will be a bit of a culture shock to him.
He is growing into life in England and Mario is a fantastic talent. There will not be a problem with him
“Mario has to get to grips with different styles of football over here and that will come with maturity. He is a terrific lad who works really well in training as well.
“He has great skill and is a top finisher and people go overboard a little bit about the other stuff.
“Mario was not taken off for any other reason that a tactical one. Roberto felt that we needed more drive down the sides to stretch West Ham and that is why Adam Johnson was brought on. It proved another correct tactical decision from the boss.”
Kidd also neatly deflected questions about the Blues title credentials.
“We are in contention now but we really want to be in contention come March/April time and if the lads continue to work the way they are doing then we will be,” he opined
“Yaya Toure is relishing the game at the moment and he and David Silva are class acts but we won at West Ham because the whole team played well and that is a result of hard work on the training ground.”