Mancini backs Dzeko to spearhead City's Euro push
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini backed Edin Dzeko to become a regular scorer after the £27 million forward hit his first Premier League goal.sports Updated: Apr 26, 2011 09:04 IST
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini backed Edin Dzeko to become a regular scorer after the £27 million forward hit his first Premier League goal.
Dzeko's second-half strike gave City a 1-0 win over struggling Blackburn on Monday and a four-point lead over Tottenham in the race to secure the fourth and final qualifying place for next season's Champions League.
"It will do his confidence the power of good," said Mancini of a player who had failed to find the target since his move from German side Wolfsburg in January.
"Edin is a fantastic striker. He had some problems because he hasn't played more games in the past and had some difficulties because he didn't score."
"But he deserved to score what was a very important goal for us. Yes, I have had to speak to him. It has not been easy for him because he hasn't been playing and he hasn't scored in the league.
"For a striker it's difficult when he cannot score."
Dzeko, who scored after coming on as a second-half substitute, was delighted with breaking his Premier League goal duck.
"I'm very happy that this goal helped my team to win the game," he said.
"Sometimes it's difficult. I'm not the first who didn't make the best start but I'm happy because I scored and helped the team."
The end of Dzeko's drought came just just two days after Chelsea's £50 million man Fernando Torres had finally opened his Blues account against West Ham.
"Torres scored a lot of goals at Liverpool and changed clubs, I'm happy for him too because I know what the pressure is," he said.
"Now we have to look at the future - it is a new beginning for me and for City."
Mancini wants City to qualify for the Champions League in style by winning all five of their remaining Premier League games.
City and fifth-placed Tottenham will meet at Eastlands on May 10 in what could be a crucial game.
But Mancini hopes to have secured the club's Champions League spot by then after targeting five wins out of five between now and the end of the season.
"We have another five games and we shall try to win all five," said the City manager.
"Tottenham at this moment are four points behind us but every game is difficult and anything can happen."
Blackburn manager Steve Kean heads into Saturday's home game with Bolton with some trepidation.
It was a 2-1 defeat at north west rivals Bolton back in December which cost Sam Allardyce his job and the relegation alarm bells are already ringing at Ewood Park.
Blackburn, one point above the bottom three, are now without a win in 10 attempts in the league.
"At this stage every single point is dificult to get," said Kean.
"What will happen if we drop into the bottom three? Psychologically it will be tough to take. But I think we have got a good group with lots of strong characters."