Roberto Mancini revealed three Manchester City players wore shirts bearing the words "Team Bridge" in support of team-mate Wayne Bridge during Sunday afternoon's 2-0 Premier League win over Portsmouth.
Bridge is still missing with a knee injury and was not at the game, but City stars Carlos Tevez, Nigel de Jong and Stephen Ireland felt it was important to show their backing for the England full-back, who has found himself at the centre of a media storm following allegations of an affair between the 29-year-old's former girlfriend and England skipper John Terry.
"The players are very close to Wayne," said Mancini. "He is a fantastic player and a good guy. It was a nice gesture."
In a statement released on Saturday, Bridge outlined his intention not to speak about Terry's alleged relationship with Vanessa Perroncel and was interested only in the welfare of their three-year-old son.
But the City defender is known to be deeply distressed about the situation, not least because he regarded Terry as his friend, having developed a close bond with the defender during their time at Chelsea.
Understanding the sensitivities of the situation, neither Gareth Barry nor Shaun Wright-Phillips, colleagues of Bridge's with both club and country, perhaps wisely opted not to wear the shirts.
Mancini was also full of praise for Emmanuel Adebayor, who scored City's first goal in a victory which moved them to within a point of that prized fourth spot.
It was the Togo striker's first goal since his horrific experience at the African Nations Cup when three of his country's backroom staff, including their driver, were killed in a gun attack on their team bus.
"I am very happy for Emmanuel to score this goal," said Mancini.
"It was an incredible situation he has been involved in. For his sake I hope he can forget it but I think both he, and his family, know he has been very lucky."
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