Coming back to City hasn't been easy admits Tevez
Published 14:10 15/04/12 By MirrorFootball
Manchester City's prodigal son Carlos Tevez says returning to Manchester City with his tail between his legs was tough.
The Argentinean striker, estimated to have lost £10m in fines and wages during his three-month strike, hit a stunning hat-trick at Norwich yesterday as City temporarily closed the gap on leaders Manchester United.
He said: "I am very happy that I played very well today but the most important thing is that I want to say thank you to my colleagues for all the support they have given me since I arrived.
"It wasn't easy coming back to training and to play but they have given me a lot of support and the technical staff have been very good to me too. I really appreciate everyone's help."
Mancini, perhaps taking a leaf out of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's textbook on mind games, claimed again yesterday that the title race is "finished", but Tevez thinks otherwise.
"Of course we can still win the title," Tevez told City TV. "Obviously we have to put pressure on United. We just need to continue to play the way we are and we will arrive and the top. Mathematically it's not impossible."
Tevez's dispute with Mancini stretches back to September when the Italian claimed his former captain refused to come off the bench in the club's Champions League game at Bayern Munich.
After five months of disciplinary hearings, public verbal sparring with Mancini and huge fines, Tevez returned in February after issuing an apology.
The 28-year-old made four substitute appearances and has looked very sharp since being restored to the starting XI on Wednesday, when he helped the Blues to a 4-0 win over West Brom.
Tevez followed his third strike by mimicking a golf-swing in front of the raucous City following, who seem to have forgiven him for his misdemeanours.
Some saw that as a dig at Mancini after the Italian's comments about Tevez being busy playing golf in Argentina during his battle with the club, but the striker says that was not the case.
"It was an important goal, not just for me but it was important for the people, for the club and for the fans, for my colleagues, for Roberto," he added.
"We all went through some difficult times. That's why I celebrated the way I did because I have my feet on the floor and I am happy for everyone."
Tevez looked to have piled on the pounds during his time away from football but he is now a much leaner figure and was lively throughout yesterday's win, which was sealed by an injury-time strike from Adam Johnson.
Despite the successful return of City's former bad boy, it was Aguero who arguably deserved to be crowned man of the match for the way he lashed home a 20-yard volley following Tevez's backheel and curled home from a similar distance to make it 4-1.
Tevez was happy with the way he linked up with his compatriot, adding: "We seem to understand each other and yes we did play very well together."