Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini avoided media duties on his 48th birthday, leaving first-team coach David Platt to sing the praises of defender Matija Nastasic.

Earlier this month Mancini walked into one of his press conferences wearing a Platt mask, a jovial reference to his recent habit of asking his number two to speak on his behalf. And it was Platt again who addressed reporters as City previewed their midweek Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan.

The former England midfielder claimed it had nothing to do with the fact it was the Italian's birthday, but said there was work to do with the game coming just three days after the last. Platt said: "It's not just his birthday, the games are coming thick and fast and his words are in the system."

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