Jack Rodwell is champing at the bit to get his season underway.
The England midfielder was an unused sub against Newcastle and Cardiff but didn’t feature in the squad for the match with Hull a fortnight ago.
The 22-year-old endured a nightmarish first season with City with a succession of injuries preventing him having a sustained run in the team, but after finishing the last campaign on a high with two goals against Norwich and with a good pre-season under his belt, he is ready to go when called upon.
“I’m fit, I’ve been training hard and I’m feeling great but I’ll just have to be patient and wait for my chance which I’m sure will come along soon,” said Rodwell.
“With the players we’ve got at this club you have to expect to miss some games and even if I get a run of games and play really well, I’d still expect to be rested from time to time because you can’t expect every player to play every minute.
Over the next four weeks we have eight games to play and I’m sure the manager will be using everyone at some point
“Manuel Pellegrini is a good manager and his credentials speak volumes. All the lads have really taken to him so things are going well.”
The midfield department is one body lighter after Gareth Barry moved to Everton on season-long loan, but Rodwell doesn’t believe that will make any difference to his first-team prospects.
He said: “I don’t think Gareth moving on will have any immediate effect because he wasn't involved in our opening matches, but there are a lot of games to play and as the season goes on and the squad rotation kicks in, I’m sure I’ll see plenty of minutes.”
Rodwell knows he will need to play games if he is to force his way into Roy Hodgson’s plans for England.
He was a late substitute for Theo Walcott in England’s 2-2 draw with Brazil last June and could yet force his way into the World Cup squad for next summer – should qualification be achieved.
“I went away with England towards the end of last season and Roy Hodgson told me it was just a matter of staying fit and playing – I’ve stayed fit, now I just need to play and we’ll see what happens," he said.
“We have Stoke this weekend so it’d be good to be involved at some point. I still think it’s a tough place to go and as Cardiff proved, every away game in the Premier league is going to be a challenge because everyone wants to beat City these days.
“Under Mark Hughes they may not play in the same style or be quite as physical as they have been in the past, but I think we’ll still have to be at our best to come away with a result.”