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Tevez: We must beat small teams to become contenders

Manchester City captain Carlos Tevez believes his side will not be considered genuine title challengers until they can consistently beat the Premier League's smaller teams.

• Blog: Mancini gambles... and wins

And Tevez, who netted the winning goal against reigning champions Chelsea at Eastlands on Saturday, insists that the result means nothing if City fail to follow it up with positive results against newly-promoted sides Newcastle and Blackpool in their next two games.

"We always play very well against the big teams but the important thing now is we concentrate and play the same game against the smaller teams," Tevez said.

"If we can do that, it will take us to the next level. This [win against Chelsea] was a great result in the battle for the Championship. It was really important we won.

"I like playing against most teams but seem to make a special mark against Chelsea. We are becoming a strong team and as captain it's important I give them the strength and spirit to continue this way."

City thrashed Liverpool 3-0 earlier this season, but went on to lose at Sunderland and draw with Blackburn, while in the 2009-10 season they followed up victories over Arsenal and Chelsea with a draw at Bolton, and after winning at Stamford Bridge in February, drew with Sunderland in the next game.

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