Mancini insists strikers should accept rotation after Dzeko hits Manchester City winner

The Bosnian striker emerged from the bench late on at Craven Cottage to fire a late winner and the Italian claims it is 'difficult' to pick and choose between his attackers
Roberto Mancini has told Manchester City's strikers to accept squad rotation after Edin Dzeko emerged from the bench to hit a late winner at Fulham on Saturday.

The Bosnia international had been on the pitch for just over a minute when he pounced on John Arne Riise's poor header to seal a win for the champions.

City take on Borussia Dortmund in the Champions league on Wednesday and Mancini is keen to keep his attackers fresh for their upcoming clashes.

He told Sky Sports News: "It’s difficult for me to make the decision every time, but we have another game in three days. An important game. Today we played with all strikers but they should accept this. In a top team it’s like this.

"It’s difficult because I know that I have good players and when I choose 11 players the other seven go on the bench. For this reason it’s very difficult and also for the players."

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City came back from behind to record their first win in five games and the Italian was happy with his team but bemoaned the awarding of a penalty for the home team, as Riise tumbled under Pablo Zabaleta's tackle, although contact appeared to be minimal.

"We played a very good game," Mancini continued. "Very good football and we scored two goals but we could have scored another two or three goals.

"It was difficult because it wasn’t a penalty. After that with 20 minutes gone you’re 1-0 down with a penalty that wasn’t a penalty, it’s difficult but I think the guys played very well. We continued to play football, we stayed calm.

"There are some moments where even if you have good players you can’t score. Today was another game like this. We had a lot of chances and we scored in the last three minutes."

City have endured stuttering form in the early throes of the season, but Mancini preferred to draw positives from the result, and believes his side will be contenders by the end of the season.

He concluded: "It’s very important to stay with Chelsea or United in a difficult moment like we have but the season will be long and I think we’ll have a big chance."