London, Feb 27 : Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has said he will definitely play left-back Wayne Bridge at Stamford Bridge today against Chelsea.
Bridge will be on the same pitch as Terry for the first time since it was revealed the Chelsea captain had an affair with his former partner Vanessa Perroncel, the mother of his son.
Bridge will refuse to shake hands with Terry before the game, but Mancini believes the left-back, who this week quit the England team in the wake of the scandal, will show his mettle.
“Wayne is a good man, a strong character with a strong mentality. He wants to play in this match and I will definitely play him. I am sure he will play very well. The only motivation he must have is to play well for us, the team and I am sure he will. He is an important player for us,” Mancini said.
“I feel sorry for him because to play for your national team is very important. It must have been a very difficult decision for him, but I respect his decision,” The Sun quoted him, as saying.
City teammates have rallied around Bridge during this difficult time and will do again today at Stamford Bridge.
Keeper Shay Given said: “I can only talk about Wayne as a footballer and he’s very focused on doing well for City regardless of what people say and write about him.”
City''s players showed their backing for Bridge when three of them - Carlos Tevez, Nigel de Jong and Stephen Ireland - wore ‘Team Bridge’ T-shirts against Portsmouth when the story broke. (ANI)