Elano recovery surprises Sven

Last updated : 23 October 2007 By Ben Collins
Elano came off the bench to score as Brazil beat Ecuador 5-0 in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Yet barely 24 hours after arriving back in Manchester, City's new fans favourite was helping us to a 1-0 win over Birmingham, scoring his 4th goal in 3 games to secure our 6th home win of the season.

The City boss even thinks the best is yet to come from his star summer signing.

"We had a lot of players away and that is always difficult," said Sven. "You are not sure what shape they are in when they come back.

"Elano and Micah Richards (who played in Russia for England) had not done anything until the warm-up before the game.

"I asked Elano how he was. He said he was fine - and that was the case. The way he took the goal was something to be proud of.

"I was surprised at the way he shook off the jet-lag. He is a great player and is scoring important goals. He is proving very important for us and I don't think we've seen the best of him, but if he goes on playing like this, I will be happy."

And Sven felt Elano showed he is not just about superb skill and unstoppable shooting, adding: "I think he stood up to certain tackles, which is good for him, because it shows he is not just an elegant football player, he's becoming physically strong."

It wasn't City's best performance of the season, with Birmingham making some chances late on, but City maintained their 100% home record to stay 3rd in the Premiership.

"It's very good to win and take three points knowing you didn't play to the best of your ability," said Sven. "For parts of the game we played good football and should have scored more goals - but one is enough when you don't concede.

"The last 30 minutes they played better than we did, but we took all three points, and that is important."