Santa Cruz told team-mates not to moan about being left out as City aim to keep the pressure on the Big Four at Wigan today.
Team man: Roque Santa Cruz (right) is staying positive
MANCHESTER CITY FC: All the latest news from across the webThierry Henry ready to snub Manchester City and take New York Red Bulls by the hornsShay Given has given defence a ton of confidence, says City boss Mark HughesThe Paraguay striker, the first City star to admit publicly the Champions League is their target this season, has had to wait for his chance following knee surgery.
But he may feature today, with Craig Bellamy doubtful with a groin strain and Robinho recovering from an ankle injury.
Santa Cruz's attitude contrasts with winger Martin Petrov, who has said this season 'it does not rest well' being left out, while £34million record signing Robinho has fluttered his eyelids at Barcelona.
Santa Cruz, 28, said: 'It will be very hard if people get impatient and start moaning. It leads to a bad atmosphere and we don't want that.
'So far, the players at Man City are working fantasically as a group. But it is very hard for the manager.
Carlos Tevez scored two goals against West Ham, Emmanuel Adebayor is back from suspension, Craig Bellamy has been playing great and there are people like myself and Robinho waiting to see what happens.
'We all need to have the mental strength to wait for a chance and be ready when it comes.'
Despite the club dampening expectations and saying a top-six finish is their target this season, Santa Cruz revealed: 'The Champions League is the aim. You always set your standards at the start of the season and that is ours. So far we are on course and exactly where we want to be.'
Explore more:People:Robinho, Martin Petrov, Emmanuel Adebayor, Carlos Tevez, CRAIG BELLAMY, Roque Santa CruzPlaces:Barcelona, Paraguay