Bellamy pledges future to Manchester City

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The Independent Football

Craig Bellamy pledged his long-term future to Manchester City as the Roberto Mancini era gathered momentum with a second win in three days since replacing Mark Hughes.

Bellamy played a leading role in City's 3-0 win over Wolves at Molineux which moved them level on points with fifth-placed Aston Villa in the Barclays Premier League.

The Welsh star was a big admirer of Hughes but is now looking to the future at Eastlands after he and two-goal Carlos Tevez caused constant problems for the Wolves back four.

Javier Garrido, a player frozen out by Hughes, was also on target to make it three wins in a row for City heading into the new year.

Bellamy said: "Nothing surprises you in this game. That is what makes it so great. Obviously, on a personal level, I've a great affection for Mark Hughes.

"But it is the nature of the business. You've got to carry on if you want to be part of Manchester City.

"You have to raise your performance because we are a club that is definitely going to go places and, with us as a group of players or with the management staff, it is going to happen so I want to be a part of it as long as I can."

Bellamy added: "We did plan, when we looked at the fixtures over the Christmas period with the previous manager, about taking a possible nine points.

"It is a crucial part of the season for any team, if you are looking to push into Europe or the Champions League or even relegation.

"It is a crunch period for everyone because with two games in three days, any result can happen, but we acquitted ourselves very well and the nine points from three games puts us in a good position for the remainder of the season.

"We didn't start off particularly well. Wolves started off very well and put us under a lot of pressure but we gradually got into it and I thought on the break we were dangerous and that proved to be a key for us.

"Hard work was the key and in the Premier League you have to work hard otherwise it is very difficult to get results. Maybe we were flattered by the scoreline but, on chances created, we had enough to make it 3-0."

Mancini, who had left Bellamy out of the starting XI against Stoke, said: "Bellamy is a strong character, a good player, he is a good man. For me, it is good that he stays with us.

"People say to me he has a reputation for being difficult but I've had difficult players before and played for 20 years.

"It is not a problem. Big players have different temperaments but that is important. He is technically gifted and quick and that is all that is important."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was unhappy that Bellamy was not deemed offside in the build up to City's second goal, but refused to publicly criticise the match officials.

He said: "The scoreline flattered them. I think we played well. It always sounds ridiculous when you lose 3-0 but we played as well as we have with the ball.

"In the first half we were excellent and in the second half, up until the second goal, we were causing them problems. They were hardly on top of their game all the time.

"Was I unhappy with second goal? Write what you want about it. You saw it, you write it. You aren't getting my opinion. If I talk about it it might cost me a few quid and I'm not going to give them any money.

"I'll put in my report what I think and then it is up to the powers that be to see what they think of my choice words. They'll be as polite as ever."

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