Samaras hoping for fresh start with Man City

January 31, 2006

New Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras is determined to put a difficult month behind him and start scoring goals for his new club.

The Greece Under-21 international went on strike last week after losing a court case challenging Dutch side Heerenveen's refusal to allow him to leave.

However, after City increased their offer to £6million Samaras completed a move to England signed a three-and-a-half-year contract yesterday.

'It has been a tough month for me but I was pleased that City were interested in me and now I'm really happy to be here,' said the 20-year-old.

'I know everything about them. I watch a lot of football and of course I watch the Premier League all the time.

'I know all about the manager, and I also know about people like Andy Cole, David James and Trevor Sinclair. I'm really happy that I am going to be part of the team with them.'

Samaras, who moved to Holland when he was only 16, believes he is ready to move up to the next level of Premiership football.

'When I was in Holland I was thinking about my next step, because I want to make a career,' he told the club's website.

'I saw Manchester City in the table and I thought 'That's my next step'. I'm happy that I'm here and that I'm going to play in English football.'

City boss Stuart Pearce, who has watched Samaras closely, believes he has acquired a talented player who will grow in stature.

'It's the overall package that you get with him. He's 20 years old, we feel that we have someone at the right end of their career, someone who will mature and get better and better,' he said.

'He's a good footballer, he has a solid background and I think I played against his father in the Greek national side.

'Talking with him, he's a very level-headed lad, he knows what he wants out of football and he's very career-minded, which is a good thing.

'I think this football club for him at this stage of his career is a great move, for him as well as it is for us.'

Samaras has gone straight into the first team squad, which means he could feature in some capacity against Newcastle tomorrow, and Pearce has challenged the striker to force his way into the starting line-up.

'He'll be in and fighting for a place. He's got to join the squad running and force me to pick him,' said the manager