Sven taking no risks with Elano
City boss expecting tough game against the Toon
By Chris Burton. Last Updated: January 2, 2008 12:30pm
Elano: Punishing schedule
Sven Goran Eriksson is refusing to risk Elano's long-term fitness despite Manchester City losing some of their early season momentum.
The Brazilian's knack of scoring spectacular goals helped propel City into the Premier League's top four, but a run of just one win in their last six has seen the side drop to seventh.
Elano has now returned from a recent injury, but Eriksson feels that he is paying the price for a punishing autumn travelling schedule and is determined to ease him slowly back into the side.
"We must be careful with Elano," warned the Swede.
"He is not 100 per cent fit and has not been for some time, which is a real pity for us.
"He had to travel a lot for internationals and then got injured, so we will have to monitor him carefully.
"He is an important player for us and we will not take any risks with him at all."
City will get another chance to improve their fortunes when they travel to Newcastle on Wednesday night, and despite the Magpies enduring a torrid time themselves at the moment Eriksson believes that Sam Allardyce will turn things around at St James' Park.
"Every time you have a team or a club which is not doing exactly what the fans and media expect, the pressure is there," he said.
"I think we have to live with that.
"I don't know how much pressure Sam Allardyce is under but I do know he has a very thick skin and I don't think anyone will break him down.
"Everyone knows he is a good manager and if they give him time, I know he will change things for Newcastle.
"I am quite sure he is the right man for that big job."