Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli has thanked Roberto Mancini for having faith in his ability after having scored in each of his last four games for the club.
The Italian's form comes at the ideal time for City, with the Manchester derby on the horizon this weekend, which could see Balotelli preferred to Sergio Aguero in attack.
Mancini was also responsible for bringing the striker through while at Inter Milan, and he says his treatment has helped improve his form.
"With Mancini I feel very comfortable," Balotelli said.
"I've known him a long time and he's a good manager. He believed in me. Even when no one in England believed in me, he did. And he kept on believing in me. I want to do something important here with him."
If chosen ahead of Aguero, Balotelli's reputation as a fierily forward could come to a head during the Manchester derby, and following accusations from Rio Ferdinand that the 21-year-old provoked the England defender after last season's FA Cup semi-final, the forward will be keen to keep his eye on the ball.
"I didn't even speak to him," he added.
"I don't have anything against him. I just celebrated. I showed him the shirt of City. Obviously, he got angry with me, but for me what happened on the pitch stayed on the pitch.
"Now we are friends like before. Or we respect each other, anyway. I'm going to give him the handshake before the game, like I give to everyone. He's a great player."
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