• Premier League

I'll repay Pellegrini's faith - Jovetic

ESPN staff
July 29, 2014
Stevan Jovetic has hit form on Manchester City's pre-season tour to the United States © Getty Images

Troubled Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic has insisted he is determined to repay the faith shown in him by Manuel Pellegrini.

Much was expected of Jovetic when he signed for City from Fiorentina in a £22 million deal last summer, but the 24-year-old endured a difficult first season at the Premier League champions.

A series of injuries early on prevented Jovetic from securing a first-team spot and speculation repeatedly linked the Montenegro international with a move back to Serie A.

But after winning the mental battle that comes with months on the treatment table, Jovetic has shown flashes of his old brilliance on City's pre-season tour to the United States, where he scored twice in a friendly victory over AC Milan.

"I hope the fans are going to see a lot of things from me," Jovetic said. "Last year I think I played well when I was fit. This year hopefully when I have a good preparation with the team it's going to be a different story."

City manager Pellegrini has backed Jovetic to shine this season, saying that - if the striker can put his injury problems behind him - he will "demonstrate why he is here at Manchester City".

And, with Alvaro Negredo's foot injury and Sergio Aguero's recent fitness problems leaving City short on strikers, Jovetic has claimed he is ready to lead the line for his manager.

"I have his [Pellegrini's] confidence and I'm going to do everything I can on the pitch to repay that and show I deserve to play," Jovetic said.

"[Last year] I wasn't happy - that was obvious. I didn't play. But I never said it was better to leave England. I know I'm good, I know I can play here. In the last few months of the season, when I was fit, I played well, every game.

"I came on for 30 minutes, 45, some games I started. This year I hope I will play much more and really help the guys."

When asked if he was struggling mentally last season Jovetic said: "No it wasn't mental. Mentally I was - I don't know where I was. The most important thing in football is the head. So many good players, but your head has to be right.

"In that moment, people were saying 'Jovetic is not good and they paid £20m'. But I was quiet, I kept working and I knew I would show what I was capable of."

Jovetic also said that his multi-million pound price tag was not an issue and that the turbulence he experienced last season will make him a stronger person.

"If you want a good player you have to pay for them, that's normal," Jovetic said. "But in the first half of the season I couldn't give my best. But after that I played well and I will do it again this year.

"I had an injury in 2010 which made me stronger. And the same thing with the injuries and all the things that happened last year will be the same."

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