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Mancini banks on Jo for City's Europa League opener

16 Sep 2010 10:11:39

| Submit Comments| Comments (119)| Printable Version1/1Play SlideshowClose MapJo, pictured in training ahead of Manchester City's Europa League tie against SalzburgRoberto Mancini is backing Jo to be the goalscoring star of tonight?s opening Europa League group game against Salzburg. The tall Brazilian striker has struggled to find his feet back at City since returning from almost two years away on loan. And many have questioned his suitability as the Blues seek to up their game and challenge for top honours. But injuries to Mario Balotelli and Emmanuel Adebayor and ongoing doubts about Roque Santa Cruz mean Jo has been included in the 25-man European squad. And he is set to start the game in the Salzburg Arena alongside Carlos Tevez and David Silva and manager Mancini has expressed his faith in the former misfit. ?At the moment we have only Carlos and Jo,? said the manager. ?It is a big problem with so many players injured but if he plays he can score a goal because he has good attitude and good technique.? The Blues were hit by another injury blow with Joleon Lescott damaging an adductor muscle and likely to be out for three weeks and Wayne Bridge is scheduled to return for his first game of the season following a foot fracture. Silva is also lined up for a return and Mancini believes this could be the game in which City fans finally see his full potential after glimpses of his ability in the opening weeks of the season. ?David is ready to play,? said the Italian. ?The problem was that he had not worked with us. "After two days with us he went away with the national team and then came back and went away again to Argentina. But now he is ready. ?He will be able to cope with the physical side of the Premier League. "He is a fantastic player, good technically, but every player that arrives in the Premier League has a problem for two months. But after three, four, five games he will be OK ? it is normal.? Mancini said he had no regrets about leaving Santa Cruz out of the Europa League squad as he faces a striker shortage. ?On the list we must put four home-grown players and this is the problem,? he said. ?One player had to be out of the list but I don?t think we knew we would lose two or three strikers injured in a week.? Mancini?s assistant, Brian Kidd, will also warn the players before they go out that Salzburg will be a serious test, even if the big guns in the group appear to be Juventus. ?We have to get away from the idea that you can cherry-pick your games and just look at Juventus because they are the big name,? said Kidd. ?These games against Salzburg and Poznan are going to be hard. ?You have to do your homework. You need to get those results nailed, not be looking at the glamour games.?| Submit Comments| Comments (119)| Printable VersionAdd A CommentEnter your comments:Sending


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