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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini hails special relationship with Leicester City

By LCFC | January 8, 2011

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said there is a special relationship emerging between the Premier League giants and Leicester City.

The two clubs lock horns tomorrow in the third round of the FA Cup, but Mancini said a bond had already been created between the clubs.

Mancini is a close friend of City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson after playing for him for Sampdoria and Lazio in Italy, and Mancini also briefly became Eriksson's assistant at Lazio. Mancini is also a former Leicester player, but the relationship between the two clubs started to emerge last season when Nigel Pearson brought young defender Ryan McGivern to City on loan.

This season Greg Cunningham and now Ben Mee have come to Leicester to gain valuable first-team experience and Mancini is happy for his young players to learn under the manager who taught him so much.

"I am very happy Sven is the manager there now and it is nice for both clubs to have this relationship because we were happy to let Greg develop his game under Sven and are happy Ben Mee will also have the opportunity to develop," he said.

Cunningham had impressed everyone at the Walkers Stadium with his performances and maturity but the 19-year-old's season was cut short when he broke a leg at Hull City on New Year's Day.

After surgery, Cunningham has returned to Manchester for his rehabilitation, and Mancini is backing the Irishman to bounce back.

"I sent Greg a text after the game when I heard the news that he had been injured," he said. "He is a good guy and a good player, so obviously I was very disappointed for him.

"Sven was very happy with him because he'd been playing very well and become an important member of the Leicester team, but this is football and sometimes these things happen. It is important he is strong, keeps going and remains focused until he is fit to play again.

"There's nothing I can say that will make him feel better, just that he should remain calm and recover well because this type of injury is not easy to deal with but, with the passage of time, he will return and hopefully be ready to return by the start of next season."

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