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Petrov looking for a reward

Martin Petrov is hoping Manchester City's new manager Roberto Mancini will not crown his match-winning display against Stoke with a place on the bench for tonight's trip to Wolves.

Martin Petrov is hoping Manchester City's new manager Roberto Mancini will not crown his match-winning display against Stoke with a place on the bench for tonight's trip to Wolves. The Bulgarian is desperate to keep his place and prove his worth after scoring in Saturday's 2-0 win against the Potters. In three previous starts this season under Mancini's predecessor, Mark Hughes, Petrov scored but was then left out. The winger was convinced his treatment from the Welshman was "unfair".

"Now, I don't want to go to the bench," said Petrov, whose start against Stoke was his first since October in the 2-2 draw against Fulham. "Before, every time when I score, I go to the bench. "Now is not the time to speak about my situation. In the past six months, too many things have happened with me. Maybe in the future I will speak 100 per cent, but what he [Hughes] was doing with me, I think, was unfair.

"I have been away from Bulgaria for 10 years, and sometimes I have this problem with other trainers, but it's the first time for a long time I've not been playing. "It is difficult, but I'm a professional and I grow more stronger. If you're not playing, you grow stronger." With Hughes at the helm, Petrov was expected to depart in the January transfer window. But he is now eager to take advantage of the new regime as Mancini has vowed to give the current group of players a fresh start.

City look to be reinvigorated by Mancini's arrival. They were certainly more organised as a team in keeping their first clean sheet in the league at Eastlands since Wolves visited in August. They will need to adopt the same approach for the return at Molineux if they are to give the Italian a second successive victory and end a four-month wait for three points on their travels. Mick McCarthy, the Wolves manager, will welcome the challenge of his former club, for whom he played between 1983 and 1987, even after the testing trip to Liverpool, where they were beaten 2-0.

He said: "Liverpool and Man City are fine by me. It's better than Derby and Nottingham Forest, no offence to them. "I'll take the tough games because I'm enjoying being in the Premier League." akhan@thenational.ae Wolves v Man City, KO 11.45pm, Showsports 1 & 2

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