Jo becoming more vital to Man City to cover striker absence

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Roberto Mancini has told Jo to keep finding the target after scoring his first Manchester City goal in almost two years in their Europa League victory over Red Bull Salzburg.

Although not being one of City’s biggest crowns in their array of jewels, Mancini may end up relying on Jo more than he would have intended in the coming months with Mario Balotelli and Emmanuel Adebayor injured.

Jo took his opportunity when handed a rare start in Austria as he made the first for David Silva and then netted the second in a 2-0 win, which takes them to the top of Group A in the Europa League.

The goal was just Jo’s fourth for City since signing for £18m from CSKA Moscow in 2008, but Mancini is hopeful that the forward can emulate his form in the coming months and continue to find the target regularly when selected.

Mancini said: “To me, my players are the best in the world.

“I know for all strikers it is important to score goals. Jo has scored one important goal for us. Now I hope he continues to play in the same way.”

The tournament may be City’s best chance of securing silverware this season and they are 5/1 to win the Europa League, despite first having to qualify from a group that also contains Juventus and Lech Poznan, who drew 3-3 in their opening game.

Jo is now in contention for a start in City’s next Premier League game away at Wigan, although Mancini may decide to rotate his squad to keep his players fresh.

City are 8/11 to beat Wigan, despite having never won their in five seasons in the Premier League and Jo is 7/4 to score at any time in the 90 minutes.

A regular run in the first team would substantially improve his chances of scoring a hatful of goals this season, which could in turn help City defy odds of 11/1 to win the Premier League. See the whole Premier League winners market.

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