City players welcome Tevez return
Manchester City duo David Silva and Joleon Lescott both believe Carlos Tevez can be the difference between success and failure in the club's bid to win the Premier League this season, and they have urged the fans to get behind the Argentinian.
Tevez has been largely AWOL for the last three months, leaving the country after a fallout over his apparent refusal to warm up against Bayern Munich. He then angled for a move away from City in January, but no transfer materialised.
As a result, Tevez has chosen to return to Eastlands, where he is now undergoing a fitness regime designed to see him ready for action in two weeks. And in Silva's eyes, that is great news for City.
"I just saw him this morning for the first time at training. I just wished him all the very best before he left. He was a very important player for us. If he is back with us, then perfect," the Spaniard commented.
"Carlos is a great player and if he is physically fit he would be a very good player to have. But it will be down to the coaches and the technical team to decide who plays and who doesn't."
City have Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli as forward options, but Silva insists it is important to have a fourth as they attack the Premier League and Europa League. "It is very important to have those four great strikers with us," Silva said. "It makes it easier for the people playing behind them.
We all know they are great players and it could be an important factor to help us win the title race." Tevez's decision to walk out on City will likely have prompted sections of the club's fanbase to question the player's loyalty.
His absence has also caused an unwanted distraction for boss Roberto Mancini, but Lescott insists the situation has to be forgotten. "No-one here sees Carlos as a disruption," Lescott said.
"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.
"It would be a bit harsh [if he is booed]. 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.
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 anymore.'
"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."