Striker Stevan Jovetic still has a future at Manchester City, according to manager Manuel Pellegrini.
The Montenegro forward was left out of City’s squad for the remainder of this season’s Champions League campaign in favour of new arrival Wilfried Bony, prompting speculation that his time might be up at the Etihad.
With Bony still on African Cup of Nations duty with Ivory Coast, Jovetic could yet partner Sergio Aguero against Hull City on Saturday and Pellegrini has urged the player to prove his worth to the club.
“It’s important for Stevan to try to play as much as he can between now and the end of the season and have a high performance when he plays,” the City boss warned.
Hull go to the Etihad amidst a poor run of form. Steve Bruce’s side have lost their last four on the trot, conceding nine goals whilst failing to find the back of the net at the other end.
Man City are strong 1.18 favourites to win the game, with Hull on offer at 12.55 and the draw at 7.88.
City have once more lost ground on league leaders Chelsea and the champions missed an opportunity to reduce their arrears in the 1-1 at Stamford Bridge a week ago.
They have clawed back an eight-point deficit once already this season and Pellegrini believes it can be done again.
“We can improve our performance and repeat what we did in the back end of December and wait to see whether Chelsea drop points,” he said.
City have every chance of getting back to winning ways against a side they have never lost in nine home league meetings.