Stars Carlos Tevez, Nigel de Jong and Stephen Ireland all wore shirts bearing the words “Team Bridge” in support of the England left-back, who is facing allegations his former girlfriend had an affair with national skipper John Terry.
Bridge sat out a comfortable victory over the Premier League’s bottom club with a knee injury and refused to speak about the allegations.
But his City team-mates showed their allegiance on their under-garments after yesterday’s win.
“The players are very close to Wayne,” Mancini said. “He is a fantastic player and a good guy. It was a nice gesture.”
Mancini also heaped praise on striker Emmanuel Adebayor who scored on his first appearance since being shot at on the Togo team bus at the Africa Cup of Nations, an incident in which three died.
City started slowly but took the lead on 39 minutes when Ireland threaded through for Adebayor to slot home. Vincent Kompany then doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time with a header from Martin Petrov’s corner.
City always looked in control and, although Tevez hit the post with a close range effort, Mancini’s men held on comfortably to move level on points with fifth-placed Liverpool with two games in hand.