Carlos Tevez has admitted that being in Manchester while his daughters are on the other other side of the world "does hurt" but has concluded that "my quality time with them will come later" and pledged his commitment to his club's cause.
Tevez was quoted in Argentina last week declaring that he would retire in four years and his spats with manager Roberto Mancini have not conveyed the image of a contented player but Tevez has insisted that his heart – or a part of it at least – is at Eastlands.
"I miss my family like anyone in the world, but I am happy here in Manchester," he said. "It's a few months since I have been able to see [my daughters] and it has been tough. That's why it is not easy for me living and breathing football all day while your little girls are in Buenos Aires. But it's something you have to deal with and I know it is a sacrifice that has to be made when you've made a commitment like I have done with City and it is something that I am going to see through. Once that job is done, I'll have plenty of time to enjoy with my kids."
Tevez gave his interviews, to the club's MC magazine and website, before his tantrum with Mancini and Mario Balotelli's altercation with Jerome Boateng came on consecutive days last week but he insisted that the disagreements were normal.
"I think it's just like any club," he said. "There are both good and bad vibes alike. The most important thing is that, as players, we are all pulling in the same direction and trying to do our best for the club. For sure, in any dressing room, you are going to have the odd problem, just like within any household. It's just the same, we are part of a family and I think that sometimes you get problems and sometimes you don't.
"Everything's fine when you are winning, but when you lose, a lot of people get a bit down but also you have to consider that there is a lot of pressure within the club which the players are always stuck with. But that's quite normal and you just have to treat it as such and realise that sometimes the odd thing gets out of the dressing room through people who don't have the best interests of the club at heart."
Though City are undefeated in six games, their captain believes they need to "get their act together" and string together a run of wins. "We have to start believing that we are a big club, get our act together and concentrate, and be strong enough mentally to go five or six matches," he said.
"It is a case of thinking about it properly and getting our mindset right in order to get those half-dozen wins in a row which will give us that belief that we can be champions. I really like the desire the fans have to win something, and I sense it," he said. "It gives me a lot of strength."
Tevez played down last week's suggestion he may retire within four years. "I don't see it happening for a long time to come," he said.
Joleon Lescott insisted that Friday's clash between Balotelli and Boateng did not reflect their relationship. "They are pals," he said. "I can't remember the way it started and obviously it wasn't going someone's way. They were talking straight afterwards. They sit together at lunch and dinner so there is no ill-feeling between the two of them."Reuse content