Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini says he will give Mario Balotelli "100 more chances" after insisting his spat with the striker was not a fight.
Photographs showed the pair being separated at training on Thursday.
But Mancini said of the incident with his fellow Italian: "No fight, not true. The pictures are worse.
"I will give him another 100 chances if I think it's possible he can change. I give him another chance, sure, because he is 22 and he can make a mistake."
The latest in a series of controversies involving Balotelli saw the 22-year-old pictured in a confrontation with his manager.
The images appear to show Mancini shouting and gesticulating at his player, who has scored three goals in 21 appearances this season.
One photograph shows the pair face to face with Mancini pulling Balotelli's training bib, while in another the striker seems to be pulled away by a member of staff.
Mancini suggested the incident was blown out of proportion and maintained that Balotelli does have a future with the club, but only if he improves his behaviour.
"It wasn't bad," he explained. "We were playing a game, Mario kicked his team-mate and I said to him 'go inside, leave the pitch'.
"He said 'no' so I took his shirt and pushed him off the pitch. This is really what happened. Nothing special.
"Mario is like this but my thoughts [on his future] do not change, this is not important. The problem could be himself. If he doesn't change, for him it will be very difficult in the future. For him, not me.
"Mario could stay with me one day, one month, five years. He is 22 years old. He needs to change. His problem is for himself."
When asked whether he lost his own temper, Mancini replied: "No. For the first two seconds, yes, but after three or four seconds he didn't want to leave the pitch. For me he should leave."
QPR boss Harry Redknapp said he thought Balotelli's problems with Mancini and Jose Mourinho, who managed the forward at Inter Milan, pointed to an individual who needed to change his ways.
"It can't be easy to deal with him," said Redknapp. "It must be difficult for Roberto. You only have to see the way he is.
"If Mourinho has a problem with him and can't handle him, he's got to be difficult hasn't he? The boy's a good player but obviously there is a problem there somewhere with his attitude.
"I think the only person that could help him is himself."
Part of the problem at City's Carrington training ground is a public footpath around the perimeter that offers views of the pitches.
"Football has got a media profile and cameramen want to be at training sessions, which I think is ridiculous," said Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
"Fortunately at our place we can guard against that to a decent degree. Sometimes we get a photographer over in the woods but we've put these wolves in there! They never come now."