Roberto Mancini has great sympathy for the players he is leaving out every time he picks from the multi-talented squad at his disposal.
With virtually a fully fit complement for the boss to choose from, recent league games have seen experienced internationals like Wayne Bridge, Micah Richards and Joleon Lescott either named as replacements or not even on the bench.
The same dilemma is likely to occur for Sunday’s game against Fulham, but Mancini is calling those out of the side not to sit back and accept the situation.
He says, “It’s not easy for me because I have to leave two or three players on the bench, or even in the stands, for every game. I understand how the players must feel, it’s difficult and I’m not happy having to tell someone they are not playing.
“But it’s better to have everyone available so we can make a choice rather than not have the players to pick from.
Every player should be unhappy if they are not playing, but it’s important that they continue to work when out of the team.
"There will be a moment when they are needed, and when that happens they must be ready. If they are not ready when I need them, I know they are not serious about getting back in.
“I was never happy to be on the bench, when that happened while I was young I did not work hard and I stayed there. When I was older, I worked harder if I was not in the team and I forced my manager to pick me.”
Jerome Boateng has been in the starting eleven for the last seven Barclays Premier League games, and the Manager does not see him as at his best in the position of left-back, where the young German impressed during the World Cup.
“For me Jerome is a right back or a central defender,” Mancini declares. “He is still young and he can improve a lot. I still don’t think he is playing at 100% after his injury and we have not seen the best of him. The Boateng I know is a fantastic player and I think he will get there.
“In 2010 it is vital every player can play in different positions – better for him, and better for managers too! We have several players like that, Milner can play in the middle or on the wing and it is good to have those sorts of players to change tactics during a match.”