Martin Petrov has launched a thinly-veiled attack on Mark Hughes, claiming he was not treated fairly by the former Manchester City boss.
Petrov netted for the fourth time this season on Boxing Day as he sent City on their way towards a 2-0 Premier League win over Stoke at Eastlands.
But it was the Bulgarian’s first in two months and must hope it does not follow a similar pattern to the rest. On two of the other occasions, he has scored this term, he has immediately been dropped.
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The 31-year-old decided to keep the full extent of his true feelings to himself out of respect to new manager Roberto Mancini. But, given what he was prepared to reveal, it is fair to assume Petrov does not rate Hughes all that highly.
"Now is not the time to talk about my situation," said Petrov. "But too many things have happened to me over the last six months and come the time, at some point in the future, I will tell you 100%.
"It would not be good for the new manager if I did it now. But what the old one did with me was not fair.
"I am just a football player. I cannot do anything apart from work hard on the pitch. I just hope after scoring this time I don’t go to the bench because that is what seems to have happened every other time this season."
In fact, just four of Petrov’s 11 appearances this term have been as part of the City starting line-up.
A nagging knee injury has played a part but not to the extent his patchy record would suggest. It has certainly been the most frustrating spell of his career.
"I have been away from Bulgaria for 10 years now and sometimes I have had problems like this with other managers," he said. "But it is the first time I have not played for this long in my entire career.
"Yet in a funny kind of way I believe I can be stronger because of it.
"If you play and score and then carry on playing, it is easy. If you keep getting left out, it is not.
"I am grateful to my family and friends because it is only through them that I managed to get through it."