Tevez: Mancini treated me like a dog
Man City striker Carlos Tevez has claimed that manager Roberto Mancini treated him ''like a dog'', although insisted that he could be ready to play for him again in two weeks.
Tevez has not played for City since his refusal to follow the instructions of Mancini and warm up during the Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich in September. However he is preparing to return on Tuesday to help with their Premier League title charge and claimed it was because he wanted to win back the support of the fans.
"Yes, it's a decision I have taken to win back the supporters since what happened against Bayern," he said in an interview on Fox Sports. "I believe they were misinformed. They weren't told the facts, so that when they were told that I didn't want to play, they naturally turned against me.
"If a player doesn't want to play for the club that pays their wages it's only natural for them to turn against that player. I couldn't understand what was going on. I swore, like any player would. I gave everything to that club and when I saw them burning my shirt, or hurling insults at me, it really hurt. I gave everything to that club and what I love above all is to play football."
Tevez has always insisted that he never refused to come on and went on to explain his version of the night's events, laying the blame firmly at Mancini's feet.
"I was in a bad mood and when he [Mancini] brings on De Jong and takes off Dzeko and we're losing 2-0, I thought it was defensive substitution so I decided to sit back on the bench.
"I'd already warmed up for ten minutes and he has this attitude that he would rather lose 2-0 instead of 4-0, so I sat down and, at the same time, Dzeko comes off and is really angry and has a go at Mancini. He then sees the tunnel is closed and so he has to sit down next to him. And they start to have an arguement.
"Dzeko was speaking Bosnian and Mancini was swearing at him in Italian, so it was a real mess. I go and sit down, but he [Mancini] doesn't see me because he is having this discussion. But then he turns around and sees me and you can imagine what happens. He is in the middle of an argument, so then he tells me to keep on warming up and treats me like a dog.
"When he spoke to me in that tone of voice, I said 'no, I'm not going out'. I was willing to play, but the coach was in such a foul mood because he had that argument with Dzeko, he started on me as well. He started swearing at me, so that was him, because I was very calm. I was just sitting on the bench and you can see from the footage that I was calm and just talking with Zabalata. Mancini said some horrible things to me."
Mancini has hinted that Tevez would be welcomed back, but the Argentine appeared cautious over his reunion with his manager.
"If it's true that Mancini said he will welcome me back if I'm fit, then I like those quotes," Tevez added. "But if he only said it for the media...
"Mancini's position got stronger when Kun Aguero arrived. I don't know if he would have done the things he did if this was last season. Last season we almost exchanged punches! But he never said anything. He got a better team this season and felt like making the decision. Now that I have a cooler head, I understand City fans. Back in the heat of the moment I didn't. I did a lot of things for City.
"To be insulted by fans after what happened in Munich was something I didn't deserve. They could have kicked me out of the club without saying all the things they said. Deal with the situation in a different way. I think that's where Mancini got things wrong. If we had a problem, we could have sorted it out in a different way. Last season, after a home game vs. Newcastle, we almost hit each other in the dressing room. But we spoke the following day. Mancini is a winner. And I'm a winner too. None of us like to lose."
The striker also insisted that he can be ready to return in two weeks' time.
"I have been training on my own. I know I can be back on the pitch in two weeks. I'm willing to play," he said. "There's no need for City to make me have two training sessions a day. I'll do it myself. I picture myself going back on the pitch and I know I have to play better than I ever did."
Speaking on Sky Sports News, agent Kia Joorabchian claimed Tevez's thoughts about the incident in Munich gave a misleading impression of his current frame of mind and claimed the player was determined once again to prove himself an asset for City, if given the chance.
To aid the situation, it is believed Tevez will drop his appeal to the Premier League against a six-week club fine, totalling around £1.2 million.
Joorabchian said: ''He's saying he will get himself ready as the club have requested him to do, because the club have said Carlos coming back can only be an asset to them.
''I've spoken to the club today, I've spoken to the club regularly on a daily basis and I think everyone agrees that from a football point of view Carlos can only be an asset.
''Now him and Mancini have obviously managed to resolve issues. What he had explained in his interview is how he felt back then. I think that the club and Carlos are taking this in a very positive way.
''He has a lot of repairs to do with the fans and he realises that and he has said that he's ready to apologise if he's done something wrong. And he's said that he sincerely never felt that he was doing something wrong at the time, and he understands that his actions may not have implied that.''