Pablo Zabaleta has called on Manchester City to help Carlos Tevez through his difficult period, after the striker apparently refused to play on Tuesday night against Bayern Munich.
Tevez is currently suspended by City, pending an investigation into the incident. And while many have condemned the Argentine, Zabaleta believes that support is the most important thing for him at this time.
"We need to try to help Carlos," he said.
"He has been a really important player for us in the last two years but maybe this season he has had more games on the bench.
"Sometimes that is difficult, and more so for strikers, who need to play, need to score, need to feel confidence."
Tevez has received just one start in the league, against Wigan, so far this season, with Roberto Mancini insisting that a lack of pre-season games were behind his omissions. Summer transfer speculation was rife that Tevez may leave for either Italy or Brazil, but after a deal failed to be completed, tensions have boiled over between the 27-year-old and Mancini.
Zabaleta believes that a lack of playing time this term may be behind Tevez’s recent behaviour, and the fellow Argentine insists he can understand the frustration associated with not being in the starting line-up.
"Everybody always wants to play, maybe it's like that," Zabaleta said.
"It is a difficult moment for him but we need to be calm.
"All players have different characters and sometimes the decision is going to be very difficult for everybody because we have too many players.
"We need to accept that sometimes we are on the bench but we always have to be looking to get into the team."
Sergio Aguero also put forward his opinion on the situation, with the striker hopeful that Tevez will sort through his differences with Mancini.
"Roberto is in charge," he said.
"He puts through his opinions and ideas, and obviously makes his decisions. We just have to go with it. Carlos is a great player but obviously I am not inside his mind, to know his thoughts and opinions.
"It does make me sad. But they are two grown men and maybe they will sort it out.”