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
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'