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Mancini PRAISE for king Carlos

Roberto Mancini must be hoping Carlos Tevez keeps scoring in the last seven games of the season.

That's because the Argentinian striker is turning out to be their lucky mascot after arriving from Manchester United in the summer.

City have yet to lose a league game in which Tevez has scored -- and so it proved to be again last night.

He grabbed a second-half hat-trick in the 3-0 victory against Wigan to improve his side's chances of a Champions League slot next season.

Tevez took full advantage of defender Gary Caldwell's controversial dismissal in the 55th minute for a challenge on him.

He made the breakthrough in the 72nd minute with a clinical finish after a mix-up between Paul Scharner and goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic.


Emmanuel Adebayor should have added a second but Scharner made up ground before Tevez doubled his tally in the 75th minute.

He scored at the back post after Vincent Kompany had flicked on a cross from Adam Johnson and the 26-year-old completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute. He skipped away from a tiring Scharner and Titus Bramble to chip into the corner for his 25th goal of the season.

Tevez celebrated by waving a shin-pad with the nickname of his daughter Flopy on it -- and was booked for going into the crowd after his final strike.

Manager Roberto Mancini said: "It was a good performance by Carlos. He scored three important goals and we won this game. I am happy with him.

"He is scoring a lot of goals and has always been a good player. He is a young player, who is improving every year."

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez rounded on referee Stuart Attwell as he felt his decision to dismiss Caldwell changed the face of the game.

He said: "I cannot understand how you can give something you can't see. To give a red card you have to be certain. Then you are looking at the replay it is no way it is a red card offence.

"Gary said he went in really strong and got the ball. Carlos Tevez saw it jumped off the ground, he's the one who left both feet...

"We are all human beings and we all make mistakes but to give a decision after something you don't see that is lying. You are making it up. That is hard to take.

"He (the referee) said he saw Gary Caldwell with both feet off the ground. That's why he gave the red card. But Gary Caldwell only went with one foot. That's a real injustice."

Newcastle boss Chris Hughton will focus only on victory at Peterborough on Saturday despite seeing his side take themselves to the brink of an instant return to the Premier League.

The Magpies will head for London Road sitting 13 points clear of third-placed Nottingham Forest, after their 2-0 win over Billy Davies' men at St James' Park last night, and needing a maximum of two more wins from their remaining seven games to clinch promotion.

Goals from substitute Shola Ameobi and Jose Enrique increased Newcastle's lead over second-placed West Brom to four points.