Carlos Tevez still not 100 per cent - Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini glossed over the possible damage Carlos Tevez's six-month absence had caused to his side's Premier League title challenge and insisted: 'I am happy with him.'
The Argentine striker, starting successive league games for the first time in 11 months, showed what his club had been missing with a hat-trick in the 6-1 victory over the Canaries at Carrow Road, while fellow countryman Sergio Aguero struck twice.
'He scored three goals and Aguero scored two but this is their job. We are happy. I only had Carlos for the last month. He was maybe six months out so we didn't have the chance to play them together,' said Mancini.
'Now he is getting better. He has improved a lot – his attitude and his strength – but he is not 100 per cent. I am happy with him. He has improved a lot in the last two weeks. For this reason he played the last game against West Brom.
'Everyone can make a mistake but it is important when you apologise to your manager. It is impossible to be perfect. No one here is perfect. We can all make a mistake. I am not frustrated because it wasn't just one problem. We lost Aguero for two games (Stoke and Sunderland) for a stupid thing. We lost Kompany for a month. We tried to talk with him in November but now we need to think about the present.'
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Tevez's treble was timely given the absence of Mario Balotelli, serving a three-match ban, while Edin Dzeko was left on the bench.
'Today I was so worried whether he could play after 48 hours but Carlos is strange. He can play two games like that,' said Mancini. 'In this moment, yes, they are the best strikers but we had a problem with Mario. Mario and Dzeko have also been important players and scored important goals. When we won 6-1 against Man United Dzeko scored, Mario scored.'
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Mancini was delighted with victory over the Canaries, insisting it was a tough match despite the scoreline.
'I am happy because I felt we did a fantastic performance here,' he said.
'It is not easy because Norwich are in very good form. It was a difficult game but I think I am very pleased with my players.
'Silva and Nasri played really well in the first half and we had other chances even though we only scored two goals. Then for 10 minutes maybe in the second half Norwich pushed us into our half but in the end we were fantastic.
'We need to finish well in this championship. We scored another six goals away. We are starting to play very well.'