Home » Manchester City » Manchester City strikers under pressure to continue goal glut ahead of return of Carlos Tévez

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So there is clearly no rush on Mancini’s part to add a temperamental ingredient to a recipe which, at the moment, does not require extra spice.

“The manager said maybe for Swansea [March 11], Carlos can be available for selection,” admitted Mancini’s assistant, David Platt. “That’s not too far away, but it could be a little bit longer than that.

“Carlos is back and he’s training. He’s a had period of time off, but he needs some conditioning and he needs to get ready for playing football again.

“He’s joining in the sessions and he does a little bit of work afterwards. He’s got his head down and that’s what he’s doing.

“But we need to find some 11 v 11 football for him. We will do that to get him into a condition where he’s available for selection if the manager wants to pick him, but that whole process takes a lot longer than 24 hours.”

The City supporters, desperate to see their team usurp Manchester United as champions, appear to have adopted a neutral stance on Tévez.

There are no banners devoted to him at Eastlands, such as the ‘Forza Mancini’ tribute to the manager, yet against Blackburn, there were no anti-Tévez chants or messages either.

Pragmatism appears to be the order of the day. An uneasy truce has been struck until the summer and, if Tévez can contribute to a title success, then he will achieve some kind of redemption.

“I don’t know how the fans will react to him,” Platt said. “I think we and Carlos have to cross that bridge when we come to it, but he can’t do more that he’s already done.

“He’s apologised and that apology has been accepted and we’re getting on with things for the good of Manchester City.”

City were never in any danger of requiring Tévez to rescue them against Blackburn, however.

Steve Kean’s team, who somehow secured a 3-2 victory at Old Trafford two months ago, were totally devoid of ambition and quality. If they avoid relegation, they will be one of the worst teams in the Premier League history to do so.

It was all too easy for City once Balotelli opened the scoring with a crisp half-volley on the half-hour.

The goal obliterated Blackburn’s tactic of playing for a point and second-half strikes from Agüero and Dzeko ensured City’s winning margin reflected their dominance.

Blackburn, whose first effort on target came two minutes into stoppage time, must now negotiate their relegation battle without centre-half Chris Samba following his sale to Anzhi Makhachkala last week. Having seemingly downed tools since having a transfer request rejected last month, Kean insists Samba had to go.

“The pivotal point was that Chris didn’t want to apologise [for his actions],” Kean said. “He didn’t want to withdraw his transfer request and was adamant he wanted to leave.

“From our point of view, he wanted to go and he made that quite public. But on a positive side, now we know everyone we have in the dressing room wants to be here.”

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