City 4-0 Porto

Mancini welcomes back repentant Tevez

February 22, 2012
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Roberto Mancini has told ESPN that Carlos Tevez could play for Manchester City again in "two or three weeks" now that the controversial striker has apologised.

Roberto Mancini on Carlos Tevez's return

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Tevez has not played for City since he was accused of refusing to warm up during the Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich on September 27 and subsequently fled to Argentina for three months after a bust up with the club.

But after failing to secure move away from City in the January transfer window a repentant Tevez returned to Manchester last week and in a statement released by City on Tuesday night said that he was "sincerely and unreservedly'' sorry for his actions.

Mancini, at the time, said Tevez was "finished'' at the club. However, after Wednesday night's 4-0 defeat of Porto booked City's place in the last 16 of the Europa League, Mancini said Tevez would be available once he deems him match fit.

"One week after Munich I called him to my house and said, 'Carlos, apologise to everyone and it's finished'," Mancini told ESPN. "I have no problem. I think he needs two to three weeks to train, then some games.''

On the victory over Europa League champions Porto, Mancini continued: "We played a good game. Maybe 4-0 was too much but it was important we went into the second stage. Porto had lots of possession and it's not easy to play against them.''

The Italian was pleased to see David Pizarro come on and score his first goal for the club.

Mancini continued: "I know him very well, he was with me at Inter. He came on for 20 minutes, played very well and scored a goal. His experience can be very important for us.''

On their future prospects in the competition, Mancini added: "We want to get to the final. It will be difficult but for this reason I will play the best team, although we can make some changes every game.''

City captain Vincent Kompany believes he and his team-mates showed they can win the competition.

A first-minute goal from Sergio Aguero set City on their way to seal a 6-1 aggregate triumph, with late strikes from Edin Dzeko, David Silva and Pizarro inflicting further damage at the Etihad .

Kompany added on ESPN: "It was a great victory. I think today showed how serious we are about this competition. Four-nil is a great result against the holders of the competition from last season. I didn't think we were at our best but we did exactly what we needed to

Midfielder Yaya Toure said: "I think the game today was fantastic. "To score early was very important for us.''

Defeat with the Ivory Coast in the African Nations Cup final was a jolt for Toure, and has increased his hunger for a trophy with City.

"It's very important for me,'' he said. "We lost that final against a good team. It's very important for us to win something this year.''