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Vieira: No City players are immune from axe

Patrick Vieira has warned his Manchester City team-mates not to expect an automatic first-team place at Eastlands this season.

Craig Bellamy and Stephen Ireland appear set to leave the world's richest club with first-team opportunities likely to be limited, with James Milner and new Italy international Mario Balotelli likely to enter Eastlands through the revolving door.

It would leave Roberto Mancini with an embarrassment of riches; so extensive further players would almost certainly have to leave before the August 31 transfer deadline just to ensure they did not remain at the club with no chance of playing.

City's 25-man quota is currently full now it has been confirmed an administration error by UEFA led to the Blues' Europa League squad going out on Wednesday without the inclusions of David Silva and Jo, who are actually both available for the two-legged qualifier against Timisoara.

And, according to Vieira, that means everyone can expect a spell on the bench, or in the stands, at some stage.

"Everyone has to get focused,'' Vieira said. "It will bring some frustration because quality players do not like to be on the bench. But, at an ambitious club like City, you have to accept it.

"Chelsea also have a good side on the bench but if you want to go from the start to the end you need everyone and for everyone to be fully committed. Anything can happen in the first few months.

"Eleven players will start the first few games, but there are so many games to play in so many competitions. What we can do is put the manager in a difficult position when he picks who is going to start.''

Vieira will be aiming to justify Mancini's decision to hand him an additional 12-month contract over the summer, and prove that he is worth another new one.

"Last season was frustrating for me,'' he said. "It is never easy when you arrive at a new club and are already injured.

"You want to get back as soon as you can but physically you are always behind the other players. It was quite tough and difficult but I was happy with the way I played in the last few games.

"I have had no injuries and not missed any training [during pre-season]. Now I have to work really hard, and every time the manager needs me to start or be on the bench I will be ready to give everything.''


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