Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Rodwell out to prove himself

Jack Rodwell, centre, joined Manchester City from Everton last August

Jack Rodwell is determined to ensure Manchester City fans see the best of him next season.

The former Everton midfielder is hoping to make a fresh start after having his first year at the Etihad Stadium ruined by injury. He did at least finish the campaign strongly - and was unexpectedly rewarded with a place in the latest England squad - and now he wants to maintain the momentum.

The 2013-14 campaign could be a crucial one for the 22-year-old as City also head into a new era under a new manager. Rodwell said: "It's all about the future now. Obviously a new manager will come in and everyone is intrigued to see who that is going to be."

He added: "It's a fresh start for everyone and we will all be on it. First game of next season everyone will be flying, and we will do our best to prove ourselves to the manager. I am a great believer in my ability but I've not had the chance to prove it.

"I am back for one game after 10 games out and it's always hard. You are never match fit and it's hard to produce. You need a good run of games."

Rodwell has spent more than four months on the sidelines since his £12million move from Goodison Park last August, mostly because of hamstring injuries. But the twice-capped England international underlined his ability with both goals in City's otherwise disappointing season-ending 3-2 Barclays Premier League loss to Norwich on Sunday.

Rodwell's second goal was particularly impressive, not least because he fully tested his hamstring as he sprinted onto a long ball from Yaya Toure and finished expertly.

It certainly did not go unnoticed by England boss Roy Hodgson, who named him in his squad for the upcoming friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Brazil.

Rodwell said: "It's always good to end on a high - it's been a frustrating season but on a personal note it was a good game for me. We could have done with a different result, but I am happy.

"Once I am fit, I can do what I did for that second goal, and I can do it for 90 minutes. I have proven that. It's just getting games under my belt, getting match fitness and hopefully next season I can do it a bit more."

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