Sven confirms Emile break
Manager lets striker rest to cure knock
By James Pearson. Last Updated: January 15, 2008 9:15am
Mpenza: Given a break
Manchester City manager Sven Goran Eriksson has confirmed he is resting striker Emile Mpenza in order to overcome his latest niggling injury.
"I think that he needs to feel that he is totally injury-free."
Eriksson on Mpenza Quotes of the week
The Belgian striker found the back of the net three times before the end of September, but has failed to score in his last six outings.
Mpenza has been hampered by hamstring and knee injuries this season and now a fresh minor hamstring strain is hindering his form.
Eriksson has now decided to give the 29-year-old hit-man, who missed the side's weekend defeat to Everton at Goodison Park, some time off in order to recuperate fully.
"I had a long talk with Emile last week, and we decided that he needed at least a week's rest to get rid of the hamstring problem he has had," he told the club's official website.
"I hope that in a couple of weeks we will see the real Mpenza, because he has been struggling for a while now.
"He had a knee injury then he has picked up a small hamstring problem more recently, so he has not been properly fit for a long while now.
"I think that he needs to feel that he is totally injury-free, then he will be the good player we know he is. We took the decision to take him out of training for a week or 10 days and hopefully he will then come back totally fit."