Manchester: Manchester City's assistant coach David Platt played down any suggestion his boss Roberto Mancini was shunning the media on Friday, saying he had other things to do rather than talk about Sunday's Premier League match against Tottenham Hotspur.
Mancini, who has had a tetchy week in front of the cameras and was involved in a minor spat with the referee and a cameraman after City drew 2-2 with Ajax Amsterdam in the Champions League on Tuesday, usually meets the media on Thursday or Friday.
Asked why he had turned up instead of his boss, Platt replied: "I have just been asked to come by the manager. It's alright, I think he's got a couple of other things he needs to do."
Premier League champions have won only one of their last four matches.
Asked if Mancini was avoiding the media and whether he was in a good frame of mind after the last week, Platt said: "Why wouldn't he be?" One reason could be was that the 2-2 draw with Ajax has left City's Champions League chances dangling by a thread.
And while the Premier League champions may now be the only team in the league still unbeaten this season, City have won only one of their last four matches, and their recent form has been less than impressive.
However, they are still third in the table, two points behind leaders Manchester United and Platt said, "All we can do is concentrate on the football. I look at the league table, and I've been in worse crises, I think."
Meanwhile City trio Joleon Lescott, Maicon and David Silva are hoping to return to action for the match against Spurs with Lescott (back), Maicon (foot) and playmaker Silva (hamstring) all back in training after spells on the sidelines.
Matches between City and Spurs are often high-scoring dramatic affairs with City winning 5-1 at Spurs and then beating them 3-2 at home with a last-minute penalty in the league last season.
Spurs though have traditionally done well at City, and bounced back from their disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Wigan Athletic last week with a fine 3-1 win over NK Maribor in the Europa League on Thursday with Jermain Defoe scoring a hat-trick.
Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas, criticised by some Spurs fans for playing with a lone striker, employed both Defoe and Emmanuel Adebayor aggainst Maribor to positive effect, but would not be drawn on whether he would field them both against City.
After the Maribor game he said: "We will go up four steps in class when we play City on Sunday. We are playing the champions of England who want to bounce back after a poor run of results.
He refused to say whether he would play them both against City, telling reporters: "It was good to see us use this system, with Adebayor coming short and linking play very very well.
"We have been playing with two strikers but one off the other one, and we are a team that creates a lot of opportunities with one off, or with two up front. I have not made a decision about Sunday yet, I will decide after training."
Spurs slipped from fourth to sixth after the Wigan defeat, but have won their last three away games in the league at Reading, Manchester United and Southampton.