Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini believes Carlos Tevez needs a rest to get back to his best.
The Argentine international has been the shining light for the Citizens this term, starting the season on fire with 20 goals in 26 appearances.
However, just one goal in his last nine appearances has led to questions being asked about the skipper, and Mancini believes the former Boca Juniors star simply needs a rest to get back to his best.
“I think Tevez, like the other players, needs to work in the next week because in the last 45 days it was impossible for us to work,” said the Italian.
“It isn’t only Carlos whose sharpness has suffered, all the players have."
The striker is likely to lead the line in the Europa League tonight, with City looking to claw back a two goal disadvantage against Dynamo Kiev at Eastlands tonight. He will also be asked to lead the line at Chelsea over the weekend, before an international break provides an opportunity for recuperation.
"If we don’t have problems against Kiev and against Chelsea this weekend, which is a very important game, then we can recover all our players after the international break,” said the City boss.
“Then we can come back very well, like we were playing four or five weeks ago.”
First things first though, and the quest for a trophy at the City of Manchester means victory against Kiev could be vital tonight. A tough challenge awaits, and Mancini hopes the fans stick with their side.
“We can score two or three goals at any moment. It’s not important to score after five minutes or half an hour. It’s important we play as a team, very strong. Our supporters will be very close with us like they were in the Reading game. After that we can play our game. I don’t think we have to score after one minute, we just have to play our game.”