Manager Roberto Mancini has hinted Manchester City might be in a better position in the title race if Carlos Tevez had returned to action sooner.
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Tevez has struck four goals in his first two starts since rejoining the squad following his well-documented dispute with the club, including a hat-trick in last week's 6-1 hammering of Norwich.
For much of his absence from the side, which stretched to almost six months, the Argentinian was not missed as Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Mario Balotelli regularly found the net.
But a collective loss of form and crucial injuries in March saw City concede the initiative in the Premier League title race to Manchester United, while Tevez sat on the sidelines, still lacking match fitness.
Asked about Tevez's absence, Mancini said: "Maybe there are some moments you have two strikers that maybe are not in form, but you have another two.
"This is the difference, it is clear - but we did everything in November and December to try to take Carlo here again.
"Without Carlos we scored a lot of goals, but it is normal if you have players like Carlos you can score more goals."
Tevez has linked superbly with his countryman and top scorer Aguero since his return to the starting line-up and with Balotelli suspended and Dzeko without a goal since February, the pair could again be in tandem for Sunday's trip to Wolves.