Mancini calls on City to prove they can thrive without Tevez

Roberto Mancini may have to do without Carlos Tevez this weekend, but the Manchester City manager believes the Argentine will be at Eastlands for the long term, despite the pair's very public disagreement last Saturday after Tevez was substituted late on against Bolton.

"I think we can talk about this situation every week," said Mancini yesterday. "Now we must have a focus on the games. We have a difficult month and big games ahead. We can't speak about him [Tevez] every week. We can cope without him. He has spoken this week, but I've explained about 1,000 times now. I think he will stay here for a long time as he's never spoken to me about anything else with this situation."

Tevez's touchline dissent came not long after collecting his fifth yellow card of the season. That means the striker will be missing against bottom-placed West Ham tomorrow; and that doesn't bode well for City as the club's over-reliance on Tevez this season has almost become crippling.

The statistics simply don't make easy viewing, with Mancini's side winning just once since January when Tevez has failed to find his way on to the scoresheet. According to Mancini that is about to change given the rich talent in the expensive squad that has been assembled at Eastlands.

"I think that this is a time when we can try to win without Carlos," said Mancini. "He is an important player for us. But the players that will play will have a good game. I'm sure of that. If we continue to play like we did against Bolton and against Stoke in the second half we can win without him.

"But we know we must try to score with the other players. There's enough quality there with Mario [Balotelli], Jo, and [Adam] Johnson. We can do this. Carlos is an important player inside the box as he's very dangerous. He is a fantastic player. He is one of the most important players in Europe, in the world maybe. For us he is very important. But if we play like we did against Bolton, we can still win without him."

In a week when Tevez has quashed speculation that he wants to quit the club, the dependency on the former Manchester United striker this season has been eased somewhat in recent weeks thanks to the introduction of Balotelli.

But Tevez remains the vital cog in Mancini's wheel. With the Italian's faith in the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor and Jo remaining somewhat limited, Tevez can perhaps do with a week off before the hectic Christmas backlog of games fast approaching.

Yet given the number of talented players in Mancini's squad, the defensive, safety-first approach may have to be put on the back burner if Manchester City are to go joint top of the Premier League tomorrow afternoon.

More significantly this is a chance for them to finally step out of Tevez's shadow and do the unthinkable, prove they can score without their captain in their ranks.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea