Manchester City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson has ordered striker Emile Mpenza to take a complete break from training in a bid to get rid of a niggling hamstring problem.The Belgian international looked like becoming Eriksson's first-choice front man this term but his progress has been hampered by fitness concerns. After overcoming a knee injury, Mpenza was then struck down by hamstring trouble that has proved more difficult to shake off than Eriksson originally thought. The 29-year-old has not featured for City since the Carling Cup defeat to Spurs at Eastlands last month and he has already been ruled out of Wednesday's FA Cup replay with West Ham and the Premier League encounter with Alan Curbishley's men at the weekend. However, after chatting the situation through with Mpenza, who joined the Blues on a free transfer last January following an ill-fated spell in Qatar, Eriksson feels a decent amount of rest will allow the former Hamburg man to rediscover the early season form which brought him three goals before the end of September. 'I had a long talk with Emile last week and we decided that he needed at least a week's rest to get rid of the hamstring problem he has had,' Eriksson said. 'I hope that in a couple of weeks we will see the real Mpenza, because he has been struggling for a while now.' Mpenza's ongoing injury worries are one of the reasons why City's strikeforce has faltered after a bright start to the campaign. Little wonder Eriksson has informed owner Thaksin Shinawatra that a new striker remains top of his wish-list for the January transfer window. Not that the Swede has completely ruled Mpenza out of his plans just yet. 'Emile needs to feel that he is totally injury-free, then he will be the good player we know he is,' he said. 'We have taken him out of training for a week to 10 days and hopefully he will then come back totally fit. 'It is time for him to take a break and Emile agrees because it has not been good for him to train at only 50%.'