Returning rebel Tevez could take the blame if City slip up in title race, warns Richards
Micah Richards has warned Carlos Tevez that he could become a scapegoat should Manchester City lose the Premier League title race.
Tevez this week returned to training with Manchester City's senior squad for the first time in more than four months with a reassurance that his team-mates bear no grudges against him.
Sergio Aguero is the latest City star to reveal he is delighted to have his compatriot back for the title run-in.
The boy is back in town: Carlos Tevez has returned to Manchester City
Tevez, 28, spent more than three months in
his native Argentina without the club's permission.
striker apologised for his conduct earlier this week and manager
Roberto Mancini has said he no longer has a problem with the
But Richards suggested that Tevez's
spat with boss Roberto Mancini could return to haunt him should the
current league leaders be pipped top the post by either Spurs or bitter
rivals Manchester United.
'With the fans, it’s probably 50-50. The best thing he can do is come back and get his head down,' Richards told The Sun.
'If we do end up winning the league and he’s played a massive part in that, then I’m sure everyone will forgive him.
'If we don’t, then it could be the opposite. It’s a mixed feeling really but, for me, I’m glad to have him back because he’s an outstanding player.
'He was our captain and leader, not only on the ball but off the ball as well, working hard, closing people down.
'He was a real nightmare to play against and to have that back in our team would be a boost for us.
All smiles: Tevez at Carrington
'He’s got something that maybe the other strikers don’t have. Not in terms of ability but just knowing what the Premier League is like.'
Tevez's fellow forward Aguero was quoted in The Sun as saying: 'Tevez is a big footballer and nobody doubts it. The day he returns [to the team] will be a big day for us.
'I prefer things with him in the squad because he is a very important player for us. I spoke a few times with him while he was absent. He is a super professional and it was up to him to decide about his future.
'I am happy he is back. I think his return could be important for us in the decisive period of this season.
'He has been one of the best forwards in world football over the last few years. City need all the players we have to try and win titles.'
City can go five points clear of Manchester United at the top of the table if they beat Blackburn on Saturday.
And playmaker David Silva claims winning the Premier League would mean as much to him as Spain's triumphant World Cup campaign in 2010.
Welcome back: Sergio Aguero (left) is happy to have Tevez at City
'The Premier League and the World Cup are equally important to me,' he was quoted as saying in The Guardian.
'After winning such an important title as the World Cup, to win the Premier League and to see supporters in Manchester who have waited so long to win it would be important to me.
'Of course the World up came after the European Championship for Spain [in 2008], so people were used to winning.
'It's fantastic to see how people forget all the bad things in life when they start celebrating a title like that after so many years.
'I want Manchester people to enjoy this feeling.'