Mancini in the firing line as Santa Cruz makes his Rovers return

Roque Santa Cruz became the latest discarded Manchester City player to aim a swipe at Roberto Mancini after completing a move back to Blackburn.

Eighteen months after leaving Rovers for Eastlands in an £18m deal, Santa Cruz has returned to Ewood Park on loan for the remainder of the season. Yet, Santa Cruz has become so disillusioned with life at City that he is already talking up making his temporary spell at Blackburn permanent.

"To be fair, I wouldn't like to go back. I never got a proper chance to play – three minutes here, five minute there once in a while," said Santa Cruz, who has not played a Premier League game from start to finish since last February.

"That is the reason I have not been feeling appreciated and expressed my willingness to leave to get that going. When you train well and put in all the effort to be part of the team and deserve the chance to play week after week, you expect your chance but that never came. In that sense I have been ignored. Of course,[Mancini] needs to bring the players he brought in, but there were chances where I could have played but he chose not to play me. I had quite an open relationship with him but he always expressed his opinion that I was not part of his plans. The manager chooses who will play and who will not, and once he came he told me clearly I would not be part of his programme."

Santa Cruz, who scored 23 times in 57 league games for Blackburn between 2007-09, is not the first player to criticise Mancini after falling out of favour. Stephen Ireland, Craig Bellamy and Benjani have all been critical of the Italian, who has also endured an uneasy relationship with Carlos Tevez.

Santa Cruz is manager Steve Kean's first signing since he took charge of Blackburn last month, and is likely to be on the substitutes' bench when Rovers face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge today.

Kean was offered the chance to join Chelsea's coaching staff when Luiz Felipe Scolari was in charge in 2008. He was assistant manager at Coventry, but declined the invitation as he felt the timing was wrong. "Phil wasn't there for very long and that was unfortunate for him and probably fortunate for me," said Kean. "I would probably have left at the same time as Phil and I don't know where I would have been."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test