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Premier League

Joleon Lescott glad to have Carlos Tevez back at Manchester City


Joleon Lescott is adamant it will be a help rather than a hindrance when Carlos Tevez eventually returns for Manchester City.

Following his apology on Tuesday, Tevez is expected to meet manager Roberto Mancini for talks about his future later today.

The South American feels he could be ready to play within a fortnight.

Mancini believes three weeks would be a more realistic target for a player who has not been involved in a competitive game since the Champions League encounter with Bayern Munich in September that led to the split in the first place.

Either way, Tevez is set to be involved for the Blues at some point next month as they continue their Barclays Premier League title push and look to advance through a last-16 Europa League meeting with either Sporting Lisbon or Legia Warsaw.

And, for all the disruption he has caused, Lescott does not believe having Tevez around will be a problem.

"No-one here sees Carlos as a disruption," said Lescott, following last night's impressive 4-0 win over Porto.

"If we can all get together and push in the same direction I am sure it's a positive for the club.

"With us, Carlos has never been an issue, and we are confident that if he does get his chance, he will score a lot of goals."

Tevez made himself a hero among the City faithful with a return of 52 goals in 91 games following his controversial move from Manchester United.

That legacy has been badly affected by recent events though.

Throughout the striker's stand-off with Mancini, Blues supporters have taken the manager's side and many would not be bothered if the Argentina star never pulled on that famous blue shirt again.

It appears he will be given a second chance though. And Lescott has urged City fans to get behind the striker.

"It would be a bit harsh," he said.

"You need to appreciate what Carlos has done for the club over the last two years.

"Obviously Carlos hasn't been here for the last few months but that's an issue the club have dealt with.

"We feel that everyone involved has dealt with it correctly and the players have got on with the job in hand.

"We are still performing in the Premier League and I don't see how it will affect us in the final run-in."

As one of the few members of the City squad to have direct experience of a successful Premier League title campaign, a legacy of his time at Old Trafford, Tevez's know-how could be vital in the final few weeks.

Even prior to this point, with City already breaking through the 60-point barrier, Lescott admits there have been occasions when the former West Ham man's famed tenacity and eye for a goal would have come in very handy,

"There have been moments when we could have done with him - he is a quality player, so even when we were winning no-one wrote him off and thought 'We don't need him any more,"' he said.

"More often than not we have won games this season, so it is no judgment on the manager's team selection.

"Now he is back and involved I am sure there will be a lot more fear in opposition teams.

"We haven't seen him much - we were off for the weekend as we didn't have a game and then preparing for the Porto game - and he has been doing fitness work to get him up to speed.

"But when I spoke to him at the weekend he did say he was raring to go and looking forward to getting involved."