Vassell vows to prove his worth at City
Darius Vassell is desperate to make his mark at Manchester City.
The former England striker helped the Blues move into the Carling Cup quarter-finals against Bolton on Wednesday but accepts he has hardly been a roaring success at Eastlands since arriving from Aston Villa in a £2million deal in 2005.
Vassell has suffered far too many injuries for his liking and was making only his third appearance of the season this week after yet another problem.
Yet, despite interest from Champions League contenders Besiktas, Vassell pledged his future to City. And he is anxious to show the Blues fans exactly what he is capable of.
'I am coming to the age where you have got to think about your future,' the 27-year-old told Man City's website. 'I always said that coming to City was a big decision for me. I really want to make a mark here. I don't think I've done that yet but I still have time.'
With Emile Mpenza, Rolando Bianchi and Georgios Samaras, plus the currently injured Valeri Bojinov, providing stiff competition for a first-team berth, and manager Sven-Goran Eriksson being linked with the likes of Alfonso Alves and Nicolas Anelka, Vassell, who played under the Swede for England at the 2002 World Cup squad, knows the striking competition at City is stiff.
However, while he accepts he could probably get more games elsewhere, he is determined to remain part of Eriksson's revolution.
'I have got a bigger challenge staying here trying to get in the team than I would have if I went somewhere else to play more,' he said. 'But I am not afraid of that and am willing to fight for it.
'I feel I have always been given a fair crack of the whip when I've been fit and hopefully I can build on that.
'When the opportunity has arisen, the manager has given everyone a good chance and we are all grateful for that.
'Everyone is fighting for their places. That is the way it should be in a successful team.'