Tevez: No-one loves the City shirt more
Carlos Tevez today emphasised his commitment to Manchester City, and credited David Silva for making a difference to his game. The Argentina forward heads into the derby with his former club Manchester United on Saturday aiming to improve on his impressive 20-goal tally for the season.
Tevez scored a first-half hat-trick in the 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on his 27th birthday on Saturday. His second came after he was set up by Silva, who arrived in the summer from Valencia.
In an interview with City's official website, Tevez said: "David Silva is the best signing we have made. He is the type of player who can win you the game.
"He can provide you with the sort of pass that puts you through one-on-one with the goalkeeper. He is one of the best players in the squad. He has freshened up the team and brought a new dimension to it."
Tevez claims he is now content after a spell where he seemed to anxious to leave Eastlands, handing in a transfer request, which was later withdrawn.
"I never walked out of the club or wanted to do any harm to the club, not for anything in the world," he insisted. "I do not think there is anyone who loves the shirt more than me. I show that in every game I play. I give everything I have got. I do not speak very often to the press.
I just have it in my head, I do my talking out there on the field, which is the most important thing. People might want to have a pop at me but I am completely at ease here. I want to do my best for the City shirt."
City head for Old Trafford only five points adrift of United as the leaders' unbeaten league run came to end at Wolverhampton Wanderers. Tevez is keen to keep his foot on the pedal and is pleased with their attacking options, after Edin Dzeko arrived from Wolfsburg to bolster the front line as Mario Balotelli remains sidelined with a knee injury.
"Of course it is always a big source of motivation when you play alongside great players like these two and David," Tevez said. "We have a forward line that can do a lot of damage to opposing teams.
""It is a period in my career where I have begun to enjoy things more. I am happy and very relaxed as a result of the football I am producing. We are right in there battling it out for a Champions League place. That is what the team is aiming for and where the team ought to be."
SWP eyes opportunity
Meanwhile winger Shaun-Wright Phillips has been offered the chance to step into the void vacated by Adam Johnson through injury. Wright-Phillips looked bright and energetic during a late cameo appearance on Saturday, and coach David Platt said "he could be that player."
Only a week ago the former Academy player - who then had a spell with Chelsea - seemed be on on his way out of Eastlands, but nothing materialised in the transfer window.
Platt said: "What we had prior to January was a squad, when all fit, of 24 or 25 players and Shauny found himself out of it a few times. It did not work out for him in terms of moving away but he is a consummate pro. He has trained exceptionally well as he has done all season. He gives you a lot of pace and attacking ability."