Gelson Fernandes has called on referees to give more protection to Manchester City teammate Elano.
He told the Manchester Evening News: "It is not easy for Elano because he is a great player and the whole league knows that so now he is a target.
"Referees should protect all creative players because there are not that many of them in the world let alone in the Premier League but I am confident Elano will find a solution with our help."
Gelson echoed boss Sven-Goran Eriksson in saying that a recent slump of form comes after opposing teams worked out ways to stop them playing.
He added: "Teams who are coming to play us know all about us and how we like to play quick-passing football and their first aim is to stop us doing that.
"They wait in their own half and make it hard for us and it is up to us to find a solution for that too."