Manager Roberto Mancini has warned his players they are risking their ability to play a full part in Manchester City’s busy programme if they ignore repeated warnings over their drinking.
Reports – accompanied by grainy footage – have emerged suggesting that City quartet Adam Johnson, Gareth Barry, Joe Hart and Shay Given were involved in late-night partying on a trip to Scotland earlier this week.
Mancini recently warned his players to curb drinking habits which he feels are ingrained in England’s culture, and to behave well to prolong their careers, after Hart was pictured on the front pages enjoying some down time in Spain before meeting up with the England squad for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.
The Italian would not be drawn today on whether he would be disciplining those involved in the latest incident, but again made his displeasure clear.
“I have not seen this video but I told them my opinion about this situation 10 days ago,” Mancini said.
“I don’t understand this. The video was on Monday, and Monday was a day off. Some players can do what they want, but I don’t understand why.
“I am unhappy about this, but for them. We play every three days and it is difficult to recover. I want to resolve this problem in the dressing room, not here (in a press conference).”
He added: “I think this problem is not only for us, it is for many players. For British players, it is part of the culture.”
City take on Wolves at Molineux in the Barclays Premier League tomorrow without Carlos Tevez, who suffered a thigh injury in last weekend’s 3-0 defeat against Arsenal and has been given permission to travel to Argentina to visit his family before reporting back on Monday.
His absence could pave the way for Mario Balotelli to make a first start for the club.
The former Inter Milan striker, who picked up a knee injury on his City debut against Timisoara in August, made his comeback against Arsenal as a second-half substitute.
Dedryck Boyata is supended following his dismissal against the Gunners, while Aleksandar Kolarov (ankle) and Michael Johnson (toe) are still not ready for first-team football, but Kolo Toure should be fit to feature having missed the last three games with a hamstring problem.