Carlos Tevez has pleaded for patience as Manchester City look to muscle their way into the Premier League's elite. The Argentine had been at Eastlands only five months when Mark Hughes got the sack and Tevez's own sparky relationship with manager Roberto Mancini has contributed to claims that the Italian could be ousted as well.
It underlines the demands being placed upon City and the expectations that have come with an unprecedented influx of cash from their mega-wealthy new owners.
But Tevez does not believe that the normal rules of success, of teams being built from a strong platform, can just be thrown away because of the players Sheikh Mansour can buy.
Now, in the second part of an interview with the City media department, he has urged everyone to give his team-mates time to get it right.
"Three years ago Manchester City were a team who used to finish in the bottom half of the table," said Tevez. "Nowadays we are always battling to be in the top four and trying hard to become one of the great teams. That shows we have grown tremendously in just a couple of years. But people need to remain very patient. You don't build a great club overnight.
"Each new player or new manager needs to go through a settling-in period. There are lots of factors involved so you need to keep fighting, just like we have been doing, in order to win a title. That could then turn into many more trophies."
Despite the stirring words from a man who has already contributed 10 goals to the City cause this season, it is hard to escape the conclusion that the off-field problems must end before Mancini's side can fulfil their potential.
Tevez's touchline row with his manager at the weekend did not paint a picture of unity and neither did the training ground punch-up between Mario Balotelli and Jéröme Boateng 24 hours earlier.
And at the start of the season Tevez felt he needed to seek out Kolo Touré for a chat after being surprised to discover he had inherited the captain's armband from the Ivorian without any prior knowledge.
"I went to speak with Kolo to tell him what I was thinking, that I was as surprised as anyone at Roberto's decision and that he could always count on my support," said Tevez.
"Then it was just everything else you would expect two guys to talk about when speaking face-to-face trying to make sure everything had been resolved. It is hard to swallow because if I had managed to get the captain's armband and it was taken from me I would be really gutted.
"I would appreciate the new captain coming to speak with me. So I put myself in his position and did what I felt had to be done as a man."
Yet Tevez also makes it clear he does not see the armband as a burden. In truth he prefers the responsibility, just as he relishes the thought of City needing him to score if they are to win – not that he feels that view is strictly true.
"I don't see it like that," he said. "I go out on the field to do my utmost to make sure we win games. I don't worry that if I don't play well or score, City are going to lose. I don't put myself under that kind of pressure.
"I always try to play my best in order to win the game. If it doesn't work out there are 10 other guys out there who are my equal, who are also doing everything they can to earn the victory. I don't take on the responsibility of saying to myself that without my scoring City won't win."
* Blackburn midfielder David Dunn admits he is restricted in the number of games he can play in a season as he has to manage his fitness. Dunn, 30, scored his first goal of the campaign in only his fifth start, in the weekend's 3-0 victory over Wolves, after groin and hamstring injuries hampered his progress – but he did not see the match out and was replaced by Mame Biram Diouf in the 52nd minute.
"It was a bit of a precaution," he said. "We were 2-0 up, job done, so there was no point in risking things. I felt my leg the last couple of days, there was a little bit of pain on the left side. Unfortunately I am one of those players who is going to pick up little niggles."Reuse content