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By Doug Higginbottom, Tue 24 January 2012 13:35
What a miserable drizzly day at Carrington but at least SSN and the other media mob were getting wet through. The morning press conference had just finished and it appears there was acceptance that the trial by media would rule out the chance of an appeal being worthwhile. Any hint of one and they would go into overdrive again forcing an extra game ban no doubt.Out to the training and a surprise to me that all the players from the EDS game yesterday were here today.Hargreaves and Razak (45 mins each at Bury) with the first team squad + Rekik and Assulin and welcome back Vinnie. Aguero out in his new boots. Looked like he was wearing dolly mixtures to me as they were turquoise and lime green but I hope they fire better than those green ones. Just 2 of us watching at the start but the other was a good friend of Mario's so I was in good company. But later we were joined by Corradi (I am sure it was him) and a friend of Savic so it just got better:)Gentle stuff to start with as, after initial jogs Mancini got a team working on much of the usual shape and movement stuff. Great care and attention as usual and as I was right on the touchline I could hear some of the specifics re how and why he wanted the play to happen whether attacking or defending. Also on the touchline I met Neil who was videoing for another Inside City feature for the main site. Good to know he's a reader of the forum.While Mancini was working the rest were playing keep ball circles away in the distance and I could see a vulture photographer who had hiked all the way around the complex to try and get a picture or two. Apparently there was another in the trees somewhere. Really sad and of course the only picture they would be interested in would have to involve Mario. Even from a distance I could hear the fun and at one point Mario's name got called out as he was having some fun with Nasri. I could almost hear the cameras clicking and some moron trying to think of a negative spin on a positive picture. Mancini changed the players in the team around as usual and went through very similar routines including attacking corners. Plenty of input from the players during this session as they worked through different moves. Then it was time for some football.Initially it was just keep ball two touch pass and move work but it was clear to me they were glad to get moving seriously and I thought it was really good short session. Plenty of quality on show with Silva showing as ever he is a top short passer of the ball but Joleon showed up well today with his control. All in all very competitive with Nigel leading the way in that aspect. Before moving on they all took one penalty each and I saw only one miss. He shall remain nameless of course.Some of the players in the EDS who played yesterday finished early (Bridge was first in) and when it was time for a game, half of the squad went in to leave just enough for a 6 a side game. Inevitably there were plenty of goals as it was just 6 a side but Joe Hart made a series of magnificent saves. Even then he was on the losing side and in his annoyance at the end launched a ball onto the roof of the buildings. He should only rue the fact that his team didn't score enough.I was impressed by Assulin's efforts today. Lively, showing a good touch and scored a few very well taken goals under the watchful eye of the boss. I really do hope his injuries are behind him now. Mario scored some beauties as did Vinnie and AJ. Again at the end of this penalties were taken and again just one miss. Now for the scousers.