Roberto Mancini urges Edin Dzek to improve heading prowess
Wednesday 18 January 2012
Roberto Mancini wants Edin Dzeko to become Manchester City's head boy.
Despite his towering size, the Bosnian was scoring only his second headed goal of the season in Monday night's win at Wigan.
It is a rather surprising statistic given Dzeko's tally for the campaign now stands at an impressive 14.
And with games starting to become tighter as their importance becomes more important, Mancini concedes it is an advantage City could make more of.
"I hope this is the start of a new Dzeko," said Mancini of the player who had gone 11 games without a goal.
"This guy deserves to be important. He deserves to score. That is important for the strikers.
"I certainly think we can exploit his size more.
"He can score with his head because he is strong in the air."
Although he was delighted to claim victory that allowed City to open up a three-point lead at the top of the Premier League, Mancini will not start to breathe easily until the middle of February, when Yaya Toure will be back from the African Nations Cup.
Defender Joleon Lescott, though, does not believe the situation is as grim as it had been painted following defeats by Manchester United and Liverpool.
"It has been funny," said the England defender.
"None of the boys thought we were cracking or something was going wrong. Then suddenly a big thing is made of it in the media.
"It was crazy. We sat there and thought, 'Wow, we must have arrived'.
"People were saying we weren't going to win the league and we are thinking, 'Hold on a minute, we have lost two cup games'.
"I don't think we are doing too badly."
In fact, Monday night's narrow victory was exactly the type of result that has been the bedrock of so many Manchester United championship triumphs down the years.
The major talking point was Roberto Mancini's touchline antics, which the Italian would be well advised to curb if he is to stop himself ending up in the kind of disciplinary strife he seems so anxious to avoid.
Heading into a weekend in which they face third-placed Tottenham at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, and will finish only half an hour before United tackle Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, City could do with what Mancini likes to refer to as a "quiet" period to get on with their business.
"Tottenham have been talking us up but we haven't mentioned any other team," said Lescott.
"No disrespect to Spurs, our main rivals are Manchester United. They are second in the league and our focus should always be on the team immediately behind us."
Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts
Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and that no-one was arrested
George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios
Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?
Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets
Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination
I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
'Adel Taarabt is about three stone overweight. I can't pick him' - Harry Redknapp
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
QPR vs Liverpool match report: Liverpool snatch victory in seven late minutes of madness
- 1 Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies after injuring spine doing somersault celebration
- 4 Drink alcohol and eat meat to improve male fertility - but cut down on coffee, studies suggest
- 5 Brian Harvey turns up at Downing Street and 'demands to speak to Prime Minister'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver allegedly kicks gay couple off for kissing
Amal Alamuddin calls for the return of the Elgin Marbles from Britain: 'Injustice has persisted for too long'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage