Santa Cruz happy to be back on the pitch for Manchester City

The Paraguay international has returned from a season's loan at Real Betis and was pleased to play 73 minutes in the club's 4-0 friendly victory over Limerick on Sunday
Roque Santa Cruz is happy to be getting some game time in pre-season for Manchester City after spending last season on loan at Real Betis.

The Paraguay striker has been out of favour at the Etihad Stadium, with Sergio Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Mario Balotelli and Edin Dzeko all ahead of him in the pecking order, but appeared late-on in Saturday's 2-0 win over Wolfsburg and played 73 minutes in Sunday's 4-0 friendly win over Limerick.

Speculation over his future continues but the 30-year-old is concentrating on the upcoming Community Shield and the start of the Premier League season for the time being.

"For me, it was great to play for 70 minutes – I had a good, long season last year and I'm just coming back from holiday and feeling good, looking forward to what is coming in the next two weeks," Santa Cruz stated to the club's official website.

"There are a couple of players who haven't played so much this pre-season so it was good to have a game and build up some match fitness."

The former Blackburn forward partnered Dzeko against the Irish side and, after watching the Bosnian score two of City's four goals, he expressed his happiness at his team-mate's success.

"I'm really pleased for Edin to come back in and get a couple of goals after his injury," Santa Cruz observed. "It's really good for his confidence looking ahead to the new season."

After the Community Shield on August 12, Roberto Mancini's men will face Southampton six days later in the first match of the 2012-13 Premier League season.