Roberto Mancini has urged Manchester City fans to get behind wantaway striker Carlos Tevez as his team chase three points at home to Everton on Monday night.
A win tonight will help City leapfrog local rivals Manchester United and move to the top of the Premier League table.
Tevez’s demand or a move away from Eastlands transfer request has dominated headlines for the past week and although he has not played for City since December 4, Mancini will select the striker for tonight’s game.
Reports indicate Tevez will be stripped of the captaincy, but Mancini is hoping the supporters ignore the striker’s situation and urged them to cheer their side to victory.
“We must forget all about this with Tevez because we must focus on the next game,” Mancini said. “It’s important we are focused on Everton and the supporters are focused on Everton, nothing else, because the next 20 days will be very important. Hopefully, the fans can continue to support the team like they have in other times.”
Mancini is confident Tevez’s love of the game will shine through and see him performing at his best despite being unsettled.
“Carlos is a football player,” he said. “He loves football and he plays like when we were young in the garden. It’s the same in training or in a match – I don’t think he will be different.”
Mancini has also spoken publicly of his hopes of convincing Tevez his future lies with City.
“He is our player and I hope he continues to play and score for us,” said Mancini.