‘I was frustrated with Mark Hughes as the manager and maybe I didn’t handle it very well. For the first time in my life I’d play well then get left out of the team.
‘I would sometimes go home and tell my wife we would have to leave. We were happy as a family in Manchester but my situation was not good at work.
'I was not getting a chance to play when I deserved to. Mark Hughes never explained why.
‘If the manager had not changed, I might have left in January. But in football things can change in one day.
And also the following comments in The Observer:
"I know sometimes I must stay on the bench. Maybe with this manager there will be times when I stay on the bench. We have too many players here and too many good players, so maybe there'll be times when I need to rest – and that's no problem. But it's difficult when you play well, score goals, do good and are the best player in the month of October – and then you spend another three games on the bench. That made me a little bit unhappy because I deserved to play."
It was not without reason that Petrov spent plenty of time on the bench; he was working his way back from serious injury and the form of Craig Bellamy (a Hughes favourite already) was outstanding early in the season. Yet when Petrov got an opportunity he took it, scoring goals and creating for others, yet found himself overlooked time and again.
His contract runs out in the summer, and as of yet, there is no word from either Petrov or the club as to the progress of negotiations (if indeed any have actually begun). Petrov of course can now negotiate with other clubs, but since Mancini arrived - possibly because of injuries - has been a fixture so far in each game, and proving his worth as a creative force in the side and I'm sure his preference would be to remain with the club beyond this season. He certainly has proved worthy of a new deal with his play and I'm sure he will play a key role between now and May.
It would be a huge shame therefore if he were to walk at the end of the 2009/10.