Friday, 18 January 2008

Mancini will not play son against Juve

Inter coach Roberto Mancini has said he will not play his son Filippo against Juventus in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.

The 17-year-old midfielder made his debut in Thursday's 3-0 win over Reggina in a last 16 second leg which gave Inter a 7-1 aggregate victory.

Despite Mancini's policy of fielding several youngsters in the Cup tournament, he feels next week's first leg against rivals Juve will be too big for his son.

"No, no. Absolutely not," Mancini said when asked if his son would play.

Filippo came on as a second-half substitute against Reggina and after trying one overly-ambitious crossfield ball, he settled down and was tidy.

"He played too little to say how he did," Mancini added. "But it was important for him to make his debut like all the youngsters."

Mancini's son joins a long line of Italians who have followed their fathers into the game. Davide Ancelotti is a youngster at Carlo Ancelotti's AC Milan, while Paolo Maldini has surpassed his father Cesare's achievements in the game. His own son Christian is on the youth books at Milan.

Milan coach Ancelotti has been criticised in some quarters for saying the tournament was not important following his side's elimination by Catania on Wednesday.

Mancini, whose side top Serie A by seven points and are also in the last 16 of the Champions League, said the Cup deserved respect even if other commitments got in the way.

"I don't know if it is important to win everything. But this competition is important for Inter because we want to reach the final so we will try to see if it is possible," he said.

"I've never seen anyone enter the pitch to lose, not even in games between friends."

The Reggina match, at a near-empty San Siro, also gave Mancini the chance to play some first teamers who have seen little action recently.

Hernan Crespo scored the first with a superb shot while midfielder Dejan Stankovic continued his comeback from injury with Cesar, Nicolas Burdisso and Santiago Solari also involved.

"All will be useful in this phase of the season with all the games we have," said Mancini.

Source: Reuters

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