West Ham v Manchester City: Stevan Jovetic has future at the Etihad, insists Manuel Pellegrini

Jovetic has seen his start to life with City hampered by injury but he could make his return against the Hammers in the League Cup semi-final second leg

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini remains convinced injury-jinxed striker Stevan Jovetic can make a huge impression this season.

Jovetic, a £22million signing from Fiorentina last summer, has almost become City's forgotten man due to a catalogue of injuries and illness.

The Montenegro international has made just three starts - five appearances in total - and scored only twice for his new club.

Fellow strikers Sergio Aguero, Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko have excelled without him, scoring 58 goals between them this season. Negredo was also signed last summer and club's other two other two major arrivals, Fernandinho and Jesus Navas, have also made an impact.

Yet while Jovetic is so far the odd man out in those groups, he has had little luck and Pellegrini hopes that soon begins to change.

The 24-year-old is close to fitness and could get an opportunity as City, with a 6-0 aggregate lead, travel to West Ham for the second leg of their Capital One Cup semi-final.

Pellegrini said: "It's an important chance for him to come back to play but I don't think he'll be able to play from the beginning or play 90 minutes.

"We'll talk with the doctor and if he doesn't have any risks then maybe he will be in the squad.

"He came here to play in the Premier League. He was a very important player in Italy for Fiorentina and I still believe he will be a very important player for us.

"He can really start playing often in the next three months and I think he can be the player we hoped he would be."

Jovetic's City career stalled before it began as he suffered a hamstring injury during pre-season.

Since then he has had further hamstring and calf problems while a potential appearance in the Capital One Cup quarter-final at Leicester was scuppered by illness.

Pellegrini, renowned for his man-management skills, concedes keeping Jovetic's spirits up has been one of his tasks.

He said: "It's very difficult to be happy when you're not playing and you have so many injuries, but he's conscious that he will (get to) be 100 per cent fit and demonstrate why he's here.

"We are trying every day to give him trust so that his bad luck will finish soon.

"It's very important that he comes back ambitious and hungry to be an important player here at Manchester City."

Midfielder Jack Rodwell, another player hampered by injuries this season, is also hoping to feature at Upton Park.

Rodwell has made just three appearances this season after more of the hamstring problems that have blighted his career.

With such a commanding first-leg advantage, City's place in the Wembley final on March 2 is all but guaranteed.

Pellegrini is expected to make a number of changes with the likes of Costel Pantilimon, Micah Richards, Joleon Lescott and James Milner among those who could be involved, along with youngsters Marcos Lopes and Emyr Huws.

 

PA

Manuel Pellegrin looks ahead to the League Cup semi-final second leg against West Ham:

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine