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Dzeko primed to score, says Mancini

SoccerNews in English Premier League, FA Cup 21 Apr 2011

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Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is confident his big-money striker Edin Dzeko can become a force in the Premier League.

Dzeko joined City for 27 million pounds in January but he is yet to score his first league goal ahead of Monday’s trip to Blackburn Rovers.

“I hope Dzeko can score in one of our remaining games this campaign,” Mancini said.

“Wayne Rooney did not score for months and Fernando Torres has not scored for Chelsea yet – this is football. It is difficult for strikers but this is football.”

“I believe he is one of the top strikers in Europe. I am sure next season he will be a top player for Manchester City.”

“It is difficult but the team is more important than any one player. It is difficult for him and for me but it is important he continues to work hard.”

Mancini said he did not like playing teams near the bottom of the table because they are fighting to avoid relegation.

Blackburn are just two points clear of the drop zone with five games remaining.

“If we think we can play against Blackburn and play 50 per cent, we may as well go home,” Mancini said.

“We need the same focus and concentration because Blackburn are a very difficult team when they are at home.”

“A win is very important because we have lost a lot of stupid points in the last month.”

“In this league if you do not play to the best of your abilities it is impossible to win.”

“Our next two games are against teams near the bottom – Blackburn and West Ham. They are fighting relegation and these are always very dangerous matches.”

Looking ahead, Mancini is hopeful club captain Carlos Tevez will be fit for the FA Cup Final on May 14 and said his team is more than capable of holding onto fourth spot to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

“We have six league games to go – three at home and three away,” Mancini said.

“I think we have a chance but it depends on the other teams. I think if we have the focus and concentration, we will make the top four.”

“I hope Tevez will be fit for the final – we have four weeks and we hope he can recover in that time.”

Manchester City will definitely be without defender Micah Richards and Tevez (both hamstring injuries) against Blackburn.

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