Friday 27 April 2018

Mancini says Tevez is 'City's Rooney'

Ken Gaunt

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is hoping Carlos Tevez stays injury-free until the end of the season. That is because the Italian boss believes the Argentinian is just a vital to the team's cause as Wayne Rooney is to Manchester United.

As Rooney is recovering from injury, Tevez will be aiming to put Birmingham to the sword tomorrow at Eastlands, while also improving his 26-goal tally after finding the target in the 6-1 demolition of Burnley at Turf Moor last weekend. And Mancini knows how crucial the Argentine is to the team.

"We have had a lot of injuries. I hope that in the last six games we can play with a strong team," Mancini said. "Carlos is most important for us like Rooney is for United.

"Four of our last six games are at home and our supporters can play a part. Birmingham are a strong team, who defend very well. We will need to be at our best to beat them."

Meanwhile, Mancini says it is up to Nedum Onuoha to decide whether he turns his back on his England ambitions and pursues the prospect of playing for World Cup finalists Nigeria.

The England U-21 full-back was born in the African country, but moved to the UK when he was seven.

Onuoha has indicated he is thinking of switching allegiance to Nigeria, where former Sweden coach Lars Lagerback is in charge.

"I have not spoken with Nedum and it must be a personal decision," Mancini said.

"I think he would like to play for England, but if this is difficult then appearing in the World Cup is important for a player."

Lagerback is scheduled to travel to England next Wednesday and Onuoha is on the list of players he intends to meet.

Man City v Birmingham,

Live, Sky Sports 1, 4.0

Irish Independent

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