Tevez dedicated to City cause
Carlos Tevez has spoken of his affection for Manchester City and stated: "I play for the shirt."
The Argentinian forward took his tally for the season to 25 goals with a hat-trick in the 3-0 victory over Wigan Athletic last night. The 26-year-old has become a fans' favourite since arriving from Manchester United in the summer, and there is mutual respect.
"I am very happy with the win and very happy for the team," said Tevez. "It was important we won and important to score the goals for the fans because I play for the team."
Tevez's treble took City above Liverpool and left them just two points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur with seven games remaining. The key match in the race for a UEFA Champions League place could turn out to be the one against Harry Redknapp's side at Eastlands on 5 May.
Tevez has turned out to be a lucky charm for City as they have never lost a league game when he has scored. "All the goals I have got are for the fans and the team," he said. "It feels great to be here and get all this support when I am on the pitch."
Tevez's partnership with Emmanuel Adebayor in the remaining matches will be crucial, according to manager Roberto Mancini. The Italian wants the Togo striker to quickly regain his match sharpness, as he looked off the pace against Wigan following a four-match absence through suspension.
"I hope that Emmanuel will play better because it will be important for us," said Mancini. "We need him and Carlos to be 100 per cent."
Next up are struggling Burnley at Turf Moor, and there will be one enforced change on Saturday as Pablo Zabaleta is ruled out through suspension. "We need to fight in the last seven games and we know it will be difficult when we face Burnley," warned Mancini.
"I want us to play better than against Wigan because we have the players. I want my team to play good football. A Champions League place? It is in our hands. It depends on us. We have a good chance."