The Italian became embroiled in a heated row with Swansea's Jonjo Shelvey in the latter stages of Liverpool's 2-1 win in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.

Balotelli had earlier inspired Liverpool's fightback with the first goal after coming on as a substitute and McInally believes the striker has to rise above such arguments on the pitch.

He told The Morning View on Sky Sports News HQ: "He doesnít need this 'letís have a fight [mentality]'. He does take the bait too easy.

"It comes with the territory as he (Balotelli) is a bit of a maverick, but he needs to do his talking on the pitch."

Kevin Davies

"Heís using a lot of energy he doesnít need to use - mental energy, looking over your shoulder all the time.

"He is a very talented footballer. He is going to get goaded all the time.

"On Saturday when he starts a game, an [opponent] will be like 'get into Balotelli, make him upset and think about other things' rather than what heís good at, which is playing football."

Preston's experienced striker Kevin Davies agrees that opposing defenders will attempt to provoke Balotelli if he cannot keep his composure.

He said: "Youíve got to rise above it. Iíve played with people like El Hadji Diouf.

"The opposition will say to you, Ďget in his face, and wind him upí.

"Heís not a kid any more, just concentrate on playing.

"It comes with the territory as heís a bit of a maverick, but he needs to do his talking on the pitch."