Massimo Moratti has publicly backed the efforts of Jose Mourinho, especially his handling of troubled forward Mario Balotelli.

Balotelli was dropped for the clash against Napoli, with Mourinho questioning his dedication.

In an interview with Corriere dello Sport, Moratti said: "Mourinho's telling off was made with affection - it was serious and professional.

"Balotelli is an intelligent lad and I'm sure he will understand the situation.

"We are going through a good period and the sides around us have been struggling a little," Moratti enthused.

"I am pleased with the way we have been playing and this gives everyone belief."