Edin Dzeko has taken a swipe at Roberto Mancini while hailing the Italian's successor at Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini, for showing the belief that has helped the striker to an impressive start to the season.
Dzeko was frustrated at being rotated by Mancini with one infamous illustration coming two years ago at Bayern Munich, whom City host in the Champions League on Wednesday evening.
Dzeko was taken off after 55 minutes by Mancini at the Allianz Arena during the group stages of the 2011-12 competition, with City losing 2-0. The decision angered the forward who engaged in a touchline spat with Mancini before throwing his tracksuit to the turf.
This presaged Carlos Tevez refusing to warm-up which subsequently caused the Argentinian's major fall-out with Mancini and club.
Regarding his displays so far under Pellegrini, which have yielded four goals in nine appearances, Dzeko said: "I think my form is a tribute to the new coach. The manager is very important to a player's form, and I have noticed a difference. I think for every player it is important he knows the manager believes in him, and it is important he has the confidence of the manager. That helps you to find the best form."
At various times since joining from Wolfsburg in January 2011 for £27m, Dzeko has been linked with a move away from City due to his uneven form. He said: "There was a lot of speculation about my future, I heard I was supposed to be leaving, but I never heard from the club they wanted to sell me. And you never heard from me I wanted to leave. I am happy, I have the confidence of the manager and my form is good."
Reminded of the disputes he and Tevez had with Mancini at Bayern and asked how much City have progressed since then, Dzeko bristled when initially mishearing the question. "What has Carlos Tevez got do with it?" he asked, before the subject was clarified and he replied: "I think the club is also improving, I really do.
"Since that game against Bayern in Munich the club has been bringing in some great players and the new manager, and we want to improve all together on the pitch, do it together. We are playing together and we have confidence."
David Silva and Sergio Agüero have both been nursing injuries and regarding whether the former will be available, Pellegrini said: "David is in the squad list. He can be at least some minutes tomorrow." On Agüero, the manager added: "Sergio is fit and he is also on the list."