Mancini 'sorry' for Bridge's England decision.
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has said he feels sorry for his player Wayne Bridge, who has stepped down from the England squad.
Bridge pulled out of the World Cup on Thursday, saying his position was "untenable and possibly divisive", after John Terry's affair with Vanessa Perroncel, the mother of his child.
His club boss was surprised by the decision, which came just days before the two men meet for the first time since the affair was exposed.
Mancini said: "I thought that Wayne would be in the national team. I know how important the national team is for any player.
"I am sorry for him and I am sorry for England but I think it is a difficult decision for him and I respect it."
Mancini said it was important for both Bridge and the club to get a result at the weekend when they face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
"I hope his mentality will be good. I hope that Wayne can play well. He is an important player for us.
But Mancini, speaking at a press conference at the club's Carrington training ground, refused to comment on whether the former friends would shake hands on the pitch.
He said: "I think that tomorrow Wayne must focus on the game.
"He is a good man, he has a strong mentality and if he is able to have all his concentration on the match it will be good for us."
Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.
Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.
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