Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Striker Jo now the centre of attention at Mcnchester City

Manchester City are dealing with a striking crisis ahead of their Europa League match this evening

With Emmanuel Adebayor not risked for the opener with Salzburg in Austria this evening (Setanta Ireland/ESPN, 7.30pm), manager Roberto Mancini has just two fit forwards in skipper Carlos Tevez and Jo.

The Brazilian was thought to be surplus to requirements with the Blues having returned after a loan spell at Everton, but now has a key role to play.

“Jo is a good player,” stressed Mancini.

“I hope if he plays tomorrow he will score. He has a good attitude and technically is very good as well. He is important to us.”

Less surprisingly, Mancini is expressing similar sentiments about David Silva, whose move from Valencia was announced early in the summer but actually came to City very late following Spain's World Cup triumph.

Silva has looked a dejected figure on the bench at times this season and there have even been cheeky claims from Spain that he could be on his way home during the January transfer window.

However, as City continue a run of seven games in three weeks, Mancini feels the former Valencia man can now start to make an impression.

“David Silva is ready to play,” said Mancini.

“The problem for Silva was that he never worked with us.

“He was with us for two days in pre-season then he went to the national team, then he came back, then off to the national team again. This was a problem.

“But he is a fantastic player, with good technique.

“However, every player who comes to the Premier League has problems for a couple of months.

“When he plays another few games everything will be normal.”

Silva is more likely than Jo to be handed a start as City look to make sweet music in Mozart's birthplace.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart has signalled a determination to respond from recent disappointments as City launch another bid to end a trophy drought that dates all the way back to 1976.

“It will not be easy, the place will be buzzing and Salzburg proved last year winning their title and their group in this competition that they are a decent side,” said the England number one.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre