Manchester City assistant boss David Platt insists Edin Dzeko is more than just a 'super-sub' despite seeing him again come off the bench to score a vital goal against Tottenham.
The £27m Bosnian striker grabbed the winner two minutes from time in a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium that keeps City within two points of Premier League leaders Manchester United.
Of Dzeko's six league goals this season, five of them have come as a substitute and three of them have proved decisive in winning matches - against Fulham, West Brom and now Spurs.
Dzeko, who replaced Carlos Tevez with 17 minutes to go on Sunday, has only started three of 11 league games this season but Platt said: "We haven't called him 'super sub'. That's just what people want to call him.
"I wouldn't say it is his best role. It's not whether he scores after coming off the bench, it's whether he scores when he is on the field.
"We can only pick 11 players and pick players on the bench to come on. That's the way it has been in the time I have been here and it is the same at every club.
"We have a lot of players who would play in almost every Premier League team but we can only pick 11 of them.
Platt added: "Against Tottenham, we felt we needed an injection of something different up front, a little more height to get the ball and hold it up.
"But we also know Edin is a goal threat. He has scored a lot of goals this season and a lot of goals since he signed in January last year. He has got what I would call 'heavy' - or important - goals for us and he is a valued member of our squad."
City boss Roberto Mancini knows Dzeko is frustrated at his lack of starting opportunities behind Tevez and Sergio Aguero, adding: "He is not happy, a player who is happy on the bench does not exist.
Mancini, who spoke to the TV cameras after the game but left the ground to catch a flight to Italy instead of facing the press, said: "We had three important strikers against Spurs.
"Last year we won the championship because of goals from our strikers. In this game we missed some goals from them but hopefully they can score again soon."
Dzeko did not elaborate on what he had said before the game about his frustration at a lack of starts this season.
But he did underline that he does not enjoy a cameo role, however successful it proves.
"I am not going to repeat what I have already said," the 26-year-old said. "At the moment I come on and score, it is just a coincidence. My goals are talking for me and that is the message."
After seeing the Bosnian sink his side, Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas said Dzeko's desire to show Mancini he should not leave him out of the starting line-up is part of the reason why he makes such an impact as a substitute.
"Just as when we lost to Chelsea, individual brilliance made the difference," Villas Boas said.
"To have a player so strong of character like Dzeko to come on again in the final minutes when the team needs him and to respond like that is something that, for me, deserves great credit, and continues to surprise me.
"He continues to be left on the bench then come on and destroy teams.
"Dzeko in the end made the difference with his ambition to prove that he always deserves to be in City's starting XI."