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Oct 21, 2012

Dzeko: I don't want to be super-sub

Edin Dzeko insists that he does not want to be known as Manchester City's super-sub but is aiming to become first-choice for Roberto Mancini.

• Blog: When 10 look like 11
• Blog: Reflections on a defeat

Dzeko was introduced with 11 minutes remaining against West Brom and netted a brace to ensure that ten-man City came away with an unlikely 2-1 win.

The Bosnia international is City's leading scorer with six goals this season but four of those goals have come from the bench and he revealed that, while he is happy to do his job for the team, he does not want to be a substitute.

"The manager (Roberto Mancini) is there to pick the team and I'm there when the team needs me," he said. "But I was never a super-sub even before I came to Manchester City.

"I always used to play from the beginning (for Wolfsburg) and I scored a lot of goals - not as a sub. In the last few games the situation has been like this and I'm just happy to be scoring goals. But I will never be a super-sub, I want to play.''

First- team coach David Platt confirmed Dzeko's match-changing contribution had put him in contention to start Wednesday's Champions League encounter with Ajax.

"Edin won't have that tag (super-sub) either because he will get his starts like every other player will get their starts," Platt said. "We've got 24 players, four of them are on the treatment table, so we had a squad of 20 to pick from.

"Edin came on and got his two goals and has put himself firmly in the manager's thoughts for Wednesday night (against Ajax). But we will pick a team on what we think is right for Ajax and the one after that.

"People should be disappointed when they are not in the team but the reaction you want when they come on is that they fight for their team and they have all done well.''

Platt added that Mancini's biggest headache was who to leave out of a matchday squad.

"A lot is made of players here being left out of the team," he added. "Lescott, Kolarov - against Sunderland, Aguero, Nasri on the bench - I think the more we rotate it, the further we go in the season.

"They'll see they can get their chances. What they should do when they come on the pitch is perform in a manner that says it's going to be difficult for you to leave me out in the next game or the one after that.

"By doing what he has done here in coming on and getting two goals... when you start looking at your next game, Edin goes right to the forefront of your mind."

Platt also insisted that the West Brom game makes rotation essential, even though he admits he would have felt the same as Dzeko and the other players who are anxious to figure more.

"I was the same and so was Robbie (Mancini)," he added. "You want to play in every game but there's a great deal more that goes into our team selection than what we think our best 11 is - travel, what they've played before, which opposition we are playing etc.

"I don't know whether they accept it more but I think it's more apparent now. I think there was less rotation when I was playing, probably because of the intensity and pace of games and the (reduced) travel, and you had a bigger rest period between games.

"What was evident in the dressing room afterwards was there were players that didn't get on the pitch who were as buoyed and happy as those that did. The manager has a decision to make. He has to pick 11 players but, believe me, his biggest headache, the thing he hates the most, is leaving players out."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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