Mancini seeks to play down handshake row

Mancini did not offer his hand to Pulis after being angered by events during his side's frustrating Barclays Premier League draw at the Britannia Stadium. The Italian also refused to speak to media after his side were held 1-1, a result which later allowed rivals Manchester United to move three points clear at the top of the table.

City were annoyed by a number of incidents, including a clash between Dean Whitehead and City midfielder David Silva which left the Spaniard needing treatment for a head wound. Mancini said: "I spoke with Tony Pulis. When I turned he had gone to the dressing room but I spoke with him by telephone. There is no problem, I said sorry."

He added: "I was angry because we didn't win the game, not with Tony. I was near the pitch because I wanted to speak with the referee.

"When I turned, Tony was just inside the dressing room. I went to the dressing room, after the game I went to Italy - I didn't meet him. I explained when I called him."

Silva's form appears to have dipped from the levels set during a dynamic opening half of the campaign but Mancini is not concerned about the former Valencia playmaker.

He said: "David Silva has played a lot of games - Champions League, Europa League and national team.

"Maybe you arrive at a moment when you can't play 100%. But he always played here - this is impossible.

"I hope he can recover in the next games. He is happy here and his strength has improved a lot in the Premier League."

Source: PA

Source: PA