Tevez faces missing out on cup final if not match-fit, warns Mancini
Roberto Mancini last night issued Carlos Tevez with a fitness ultimatum as the Manchester City captain steps up his bid to play a part in the FA Cup final.
Tevez, who is sidelined with a tear in his hamstring, faces a desperate race to make the Wembley final with Stoke City on 14 May. The club's leading scorer sustained the injury against Liverpool last week, and is undergoing lengthy treatment from the Argentina national physiotherapist in Milan.
But manager Mancini has warned Tevez he must return during the club's Premier League run-in to stand a chance of featuring in City's bid to end a 35-year-wait for silverware next month. Mancini's side play Everton on May 7 and Tottenham on May 10.
"I hope Carlos can recover in time as we have four weeks," said Mancini. "It is important for Carlos to play one game before the final, for sure. At this moment he has a bad injury and it is important for him to recover.
"Of course it is important for us that he is recovered in time for the FA Cup final and the last few games in the Premier League. But I think he has confidence in his own physio.
"His injury is not easy to deal with and he always works with this physio. It is not unusual for him to be in Italy and for this to happen. Every person is different."
The burden of firing his side to success this season has weighed heavily on the shoulders of Tevez, though his team-mates coped admirably without him in their cup semi-final win over Manchester United last weekend.
His goals, and work-rate, will be sorely missed as his side look to edge over the line in their pursuit to secure Champions League football next season.
Mancini dismissed claims from Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp that Stoke could try to manipulate a result to boost City's top-four challenge in the league game between the sides that follows the final -- the Potters would qualify for the Europa League if City secure fourth spot in the league, above Spurs.
"I think that every team plays at 100pc," Mancini said. "I have never had a team that played against a side that didn't play a game. I think that in England every manager and every player wants to play."
Stoke boss Tony Pulis also rejected Redknapp's concerns yesterday.
"I can see where he (Redknapp) is coming from but whichever team we send out will do their best," said Pulis.
"The fixture is there, we are happy with it, Manchester City are happy with it and it has nothing to do with anyone else." (© Independent News Service)