Barry expects big things from Dzeko

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The Independent Football

Gareth Barry feels Edin Dzeko's late equaliser at Notts County yesterday will prove far more valuable than merely ensuring Manchester City remain in the FA Cup.

Amid the euphoria of Dzeko's close-range effort, that earned City a second stab at their npower League One opponents in the battle to book a fifth-round meeting with Aston Villa, it was largely overlooked that the Bosnian was scoring his first goal for his new club.

With a hefty £27million price tag dangling round his neck, Barry knew every missed opportunity would result in the weight of that fee - the fifth largest ever spent by an English club - would get heavier.

So, as the 24-year-old was celebrating at Meadow Lane, Barry knew there were wider implications.

"It was an important goal for him," said the England midfielder.

"The longer a striker goes without a goal the more it can affect him.

"Strikers thrive on confidence, so I hope this settles him down and it can be the first of many for him."

Barry certainly has no doubts over Dzeko's quality, or his ability to make a consistent impact on a City side desperate to end their 35-year trophy drought.

"Edin can be a big star for Manchester City," he said.

"When you look at his record, his ratio of goals to games is very good.

"If he can keep that going at City, he is going to do very well."

Manager Roberto Mancini does feel the giant Sarajevo-born forward has plenty to learn about life in England.

The Bundesliga is often portrayed as the nearest major domestic competition to English football.

But Dzeko has found four years with Wolfsburg has not really prepared him for the brutal nature of combat over here.

"I am having to fight for 90 minutes," he told

"I never played in a match like that before. It is a tough lesson but it is a lesson I am willing to learn.

"Everybody told me the FA Cup is special. Now I can see it for myself."

Although City have been distracted by the attempt to bring in a wide player - Birmingham's Sebastian Larsson is one of a number of options - following confirmation Adam Johnson will be out for three months with an ankle injury, Mancini knows his team cannot afford to slip up at Birmingham on Wednesday.

Carlos Tevez should return after a minor back injury to take some of the pressure off Dzeko in attack, while Nigel de Jong, Vincent Kompany and Kolo Toure will also give the City side a more formidable look.

The Blues need to bounce back from their defeat at Aston Villa on their last outing 10 days ago which suddenly leaves them with an uphill task if they are to challenge for the Premier League title, six points behind Manchester United having played a game more.

For Dzeko, it will be another step forward on a very steep learning curve.

"This is England," he said. "I have to get used to it.

"I just want to carry on trying to do my best. I have my first goal now, which was very special. Now I want to get a few more."