Tevez and Neville are good friends really, claims Mancini
Published 23:00 26/01/10 By David McDonnell
Roberto Mancini tried to spread peace ahead of tonight's hate-fuelled Carling Cup battle of Manchester by claiming Carlos Tevez and Gary Neville have kissed and made up.
Former team-mates Tevez and Neville clashed in the first leg of the semi-final at Eastlands, when the City striker goaded the United captain into giving him the finger from the touchline.
Tevez was angered by Neville's claim that Sir Alex Ferguson was right not to spend £25million on him last summer and responded by branding the United defender a "boot-licking moron".
The FA stepped in to warn both players about their future conduct and City boss Mancini took on the role of peacemaker by suggesting the feuding pair had settled their differences.
"I think they're good friends," said Mancini. "They played together for two years at United and after a game these things can sometimes happen."
Tevez scored both goals in City's 2-1 first-leg win and will be Public Enemny No.1 at Old Trafford tonight following his vitriolic verbal attack on United crowd favourite Neville.
But Mancini said his star striker has the mental toughness to handle the inevitable hostile reception he will receive when he emerges from the players' tunnel at Old Trafford.
"I don't think there is a problem with Carlos and other players," said Mancini. "Carlos will be fine. Everybody must stay calm and think only about the match.
"I hope Carlos will score again but it's impossible for one player to keep on scoring a goal or two goals in every game.
"I hope that some of our other players can score as well, but if Carlos can score, then that's fine by me."