Balotelli must remain serious, says Favre

Despite Mario Balotelli's superb start to life at Nice, coach Lucien Favre is looking for more improvement from the enigmatic striker.

After a blistering start to his Nice career, Mario Balotelli must continue to make small steps if he is to reach his full potential, according to head coach Lucien Favre.

Since signing for Nice on a free transfer from Liverpool towards the end of the transfer window, former Manchester City, Inter and AC Milan striker Balotelli has struck four goals in two Ligue 1 starts.

But, after the Italian's double in the 4-0 derby victory over Monaco on Wednesday, Favre has insisted that Balotelli must improve his work-rate if he is to continue his excellent form, urging the 26-year-old to remain professional on and off the pitch.

"He must overcome steps, small steps, one after another. Mario will not just start running 11 km a match right now," the German said.

"I talked to him already about his movement, the will he must show when he moves.

"He's very receptive and now he smiles when he scores a goal. He communicates joy to the group. But he must be serious and not let himself go in his personal life."

Balotelli's goals have helped Nice rise to top spot in Ligue 1 after six fixtures, with Favre's side travelling to Nancy on Sunday.