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Sep 25, 2010

Tevez surprised to land captaincy after Mancini row

Carlos Tevez admits he was surprised to be made Manchester City captain this summer having fallen out with Roberto Mancini last season, but says the armband is now bringing the best out of him at Eastlands.

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It came as a real surprise when Tevez replaced Kolo Toure as Mancini's captain, not least because the Argentina international had publicly criticised his manager's training methods in April.

But ahead of Saturday's high-profile clash against Chelsea, Tevez is City's in-form player having scored three goals in his five Premier League appearances and appears to be a positive influence on the club.

While he is still adamant he was right to question Mancini's punishing regime last season, Tevez says he has smoothed things over with the Italian and is now working to be a force for cohesion at Eastlands.

"Yes, it did surprise me when he made me captain," Tevez told the Daily Mail. "The obvious issue is my English. It's not that great so communicating with players is not always easy. But, of course, there had been an issue also.

"We have cleared that up now. We had a chat at the end of the season and cleared the air and now everything is nice between us. We didn't have to thrash out anything in particular. It was just the case of two guys sitting down and having a chat. We were open and honest and that sorted it.

"It's not a case of admitting that you are wrong, as I think at the time I was right to say that. This year the games are so regular that there isn't time for that issue of double-session training to arise. I still stand by what I said.

"But I am also thriving on the responsibility of captaincy both on and off the field. If lads are a bit down then it's up to me to make sure they are in the right frame of mind. And if things are not going well on the field then it's up to me to lead by example."

Though he now sports the captain's armband, Tevez remains opinionated and has expressed his displeasure with City's decision to remove Craig Bellamy from their first-team squad and send him on loan to Championship club Cardiff.

"I'm still disappointed by it really," he said. "Along with myself and Shay Given, he was always up there as player of the year and I think he proved that on the field, didn't he?"

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