City support spurs on Rolando

Last updated : 18 December 2007 By Ben Collins
Despite scoring on his City debut, the Italian striker struggled to settle in England following his summer move from Reggina.

The 24-year-old was last week said to be heading back to Italy in a swap deal with Inter Milan star Adriano but has burst back onto the scene at City.

After coming off the bench to head home an equaliser in the 2-1 defeat at Spurs, Bianchi earned a recall to the starting line-up against Bolton and made it 2 in 2 with the opening goal.

Bianchi feels his City career is now back on track and he thanked the fans for believing in him while he was stuck on the sidelines.

"It was wonderful to share the goal with City fans who have backed me all the time I have been here and when I have been a bit down have been so instrumental in lifting me again," he told the City website.

"I think they love me and I love then back, they are fantastic."

City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson echoed those sentiments, saying: "I think the fans have been very, very good to him. He has had difficult times because he hasn't played very much and found it a bit difficult to settle in.

"Maybe for strikers it's more difficult to come from another country into the Premier League. The pace is very high and you need very good technique to keep the ball up there.

"He scored last weekend, scored against Bolton and I think he played very well too."

Bianchi's return to form may well ensure he stays put during the January transfer window, although after just getting back in the side, he now looks set to face further competition for places.

Mexican striker Nery Castillo was in the stands for the 4-2 win over Bolton and is set to arrive on a year-long loan deal from Shakhtar Donetsk.

Sven targetted Castillo in the summer while he was at Greek side Olympiacos, only for Shakhtar to splash out £16m to secure his services.

But the 23-year-old, who signed a 5-year deal with Shakhtar, has failed to score in 8 games in Ukraine and his club are willing to let him go for a year.

Valeri Bojinov is also set to return from a long-term knee injury, but Bianchi insists he is determined to fight for his place.

"Getting into the side and staying there is a challenge for me and I want to win that challenge," he said.

"I am very happy at City, I do not want to leave, I see a future for me here. I speak with the manager regularly but not about leaving.

"It was important for my confidence that I was able to come on at Spurs and score and then start the game against Bolton. Now I hope that goal against Bolton will be the start of many. I have worked hard and aim to make the most of my chance."