Tag Archives: awaited

Rafael Nadal out of Abu Dhabi exhibition tournament with virus

Virus delays Nadal's comeback as former world No 1 forced out of Abu Dhabi tournament

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UPDATED:

17:12 GMT, 25 December 2012

Rafael Nadal's long-awaited return from injury has been delayed further after he pulled out of this week's exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi with a virus.

The 11-time Grand Slam champion made the announcement on his Facebook page on Christmas Day saying he was 'very disappointed' to miss out after seven months on the sidelines with a left knee problem.

Nadal has not played since suffering his shock second-round exit at Wimbledon to unheralded Czech Lukas Rosol.

Blow: Rafael Nadal's comeback has been delayed due to a virus

Blow: Rafael Nadal's comeback has been delayed due to a virus

Despite the setback Nadal, 26, claimed he had recovered from his knee problem and that doctors had advised his withdrawal after a stomach infection had caused his illness.

'Everything was ready and I am eager to return to competition but the doctors have forbidden me from competing in Abu Dhabi due to a stomach infection that has left me with a fever,' Nadal wrote.

'My recovery has gone well – my knees are better – and I was eager to return to competition. I'm sorry for my fans in the Emirates and throughout the world. I hope to be there the coming year.

'I am very disappointed that I will not be able to compete in Abu Dhabi this year.'

Nadal had made a slower-than-expected recovery from his knee problems in the summer to delay his return.

The 26-year-old attempted to ease any concerns that this latest blow represented a further setback, saying his rehabilitation remained on course ahead of the start of the Australian Open on January 14.

'My rehab has gone well, my knee feels good and I was looking forward to competing,' he said. 'Unfortunately doctors have informed me that my body needs to rest in order to fight this stomach virus.'

Rafael Benitez says Fernando Torres"s return to form is proof Chelsea changes are working

Benitez claims his Chelsea revolution is working now Torres is back in the goals

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UPDATED:

15:31 GMT, 22 December 2012

Rafael Benitez has claimed Fernando Torres's long-awaited return to form is proof that his Chelsea revolution is working.

Almost two years since Torres' record-breaking move from Liverpool and he is finally starting to score the number of goals to justify his 50million price tag.

Six in five games is by far the most sustained run of the 28-year-old's Stamford Bridge career and it has co-incided almost exactly with his reunion with former Anfield boss Benitez.

Back in business: Fernando Torres has been in the goals since Rafa Benitez came in

Back in business: Fernando Torres has been in the goals since Rafa Benitez came in

Chelsea's interim manager immediately identified that Torres had lost some of the physical conditioning that had made him one of the most feared forwards in the world, as well as an obvious lack of confidence from failing to find the back of the net.

'Two or three things that we are doing for some players are really good,” Benitez said, claiming the sharpness in the majority of his players was now 'much better'.

'Fernando is one of the examples.'

He added: 'He's scoring goals and the team is winning and playing well, so he's really happy, not just because he's scoring goals but also because the team's doing well.'

Despite the clear impact Benitez has made on Torres, he played down the extent of his own influence on his fellow Spaniard.

'I think that the team has an influence on him because the team is doing well, so the team is playing better, creating more chances,' he said.

'So Fernando is taking more chances.'

Getting better: Chelsea's manager Rafa Benitez applauds supporters after beating Leeds

Getting better: Chelsea's manager Rafa Benitez applauds supporters after beating Leeds

Benitez refused to speculate on exactly how much his training methods had improved Torres and others during his month in charge ahead of tomorrow's Barclays Premier League clash with Aston Villa.

'You can more or less think but imagine I will say to you that they are 90 per cent [fit] and we lose on Sunday, you will say, 'What is going on”' he said.

'[What] if I say 20 per cent and we beat Aston Villa 5-0

'Football is so special that you cannot guarantee 70, 50 or 60.

'What I can say is we have time to bring players in the team and then change players, so we can manage the tiredness a little bit better.'

Indeed, Benitez has rotated his squad far more than predecessor Roberto Di Matteo and he revealed fatigue had been a real concern in the wake of Chelsea's gruelling Club World Cup trip to Japan.

Back where it all began: Cech is looking forward to going back to play Sparta Prague

Back where it all began: Cech is looking forward to going back to play Sparta Prague

So much so in fact that it threatened to derail Benitez's plans for Wednesday's Capital One Cup quarter-final win at Leeds.

'Some players, they were quite tired,' he said.

'The day before, we were training and I was talking with the fitness coach.

'We had three or four that could be a problem.

'We decided to change some players but I didn't want to change too many.'

With no end in sight to their punishing fixture schedule, tiredness is likely to become more of a problem as the season progresses.

That makes reinforcing what is an alarmingly thin squad imperative during the January transfer window.

Reports today suggest Benitez faces a battle to convince Chelsea's board to spend big rather than recalling some of the youngsters the club currently has out on loan.

Inaction is simply not an option, with Daniel Sturridge said to be on the brink of being sold, Oriol Romeu out for the season and John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses set to be missing for up to a month on African Nations Cup duty.

Chelsea's failure to reach the Champions League knockout stage has also left them with two extra potential fixtures in the shape of a Europa League last-32 clash with Sparta Prague.

One player not complaining about a trip to the Czech Republic was goalkeeper Petr Cech, who will return to the club where he made his name.

'It is fantastic for me to be able, after 12 years, to finally play a Czech team in a European competition,' Cech told Chelsea TV.

'Although the ideal scenario was to play them in the Champions League, this is one of the positives from not being able to play in the Champions League now.

'We will try to win the Europa League now and it is great for me to have this experience of going home and playing for Chelsea in Czech Republic.'

Jack Wilshere puts in best performance since Arsenal return

Jumping Jack! Wenger revelling in Wilshere's finest performance since return

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UPDATED:

22:36 GMT, 9 December 2012

As Jack Wilshere turned in his best performance since returning from his 15 month injury hell on Saturday, his manager fired out a stark warning to Arsenal’s rivals.

‘Have we got our old Jack back Yes…our young old Jack,’ said Arsene Wenger.

‘But he is not at his maximum yet, but on his showing against West Bromwich he is not too far away.'

Skipping clear: Jack Wilshere was almost back to his best against West Brom

Skipping clear: Jack Wilshere was almost back to his best against West Brom

The 20-year-old midfielder looked back to his brilliant best as the Gunners lifted at least some of the dark clouds that have cast a worrying shadow over the club in recent weeks.

His immaculate first touch, unerring vision and deadly passing ability has been on display since he made his long-awaited return in the 1-0 win organist QPR on October 27.

But against West Bromwich on Saturday, there was a sharpness – an incisiveness – about the England midfielder’s display.

‘He excites me, I played him when he was 16 because I saw something,’ said Wenger.

‘I’m just happy that a boy of 20 can play football because he was out for 15 months. I believe the surprising thing for me is how advanced he is.
‘I expected him to be back, next year in February, at his best. He looks much earlier than I expected him to be.

‘But I still have to be cautious. For example, against West Brom is the first time I see him very very close to the player he is.

Rough and tumble: Wilshere looks to have recovered well from injury

Rough and tumble: Wilshere looks to have recovered well from injury

‘But we have to see if he has no reaction. It was good to leave him at home against Olympiakos in midweek, to give him a breather from time to time.

‘Maybe two, three games and then one breather maybe. But when he plays at that level, and you are under the pressure we are under to win the games, it is difficult to leave him out.’

Wilshere concurs: ‘Maybe I’m at 90 per cent. Every game that goes by I feel better and better fitness-wise.

‘When I get up to 100 per cent I will really show what I can do. I think the West Brom game was my best since coming back from injury.

‘It is a new experience for me – my first injury. I did not know what to expect. I spoke to a few players who have had long-term injuries.

‘They said you will come back and have a good game and you think “I am back” then you will have another game and you are not so good.

‘I think the first few games my adrenalin got me through which is why I was so up for it.

Brace yourself: Mikel Arteta scored both goals for Arsenal on Saturday

Brace yourself: Mikel Arteta scored both goals for Arsenal on Saturday

‘Then you start to realise it is not as simple as that and things start catching up with you. Then you start to get back back to your best.’

The Gunners had to rely on two Mikel Arteta penalties against Steve Clarke’s side on Saturday.

The Baggies manager had major gripes with referee Mike Jones’ decision to award both spot kicks – particularly the first as Santi Cazorla looked to blatantly dive under pressure from Steven Reid.

Wenger will remind Cazorla of his responsibilities after the weekend controversy, but the Spain international is expected to dodge any formal punishment.

‘I think it’s a wrong decision but that said I think referees have a difficult job,’ said defender Jonas Olsson.

‘They have to make the decision in a split second. If it’s a dive, the focus should be on the person diving as well.

‘You can blame the player. It’s a wrong decision.’

England Tom Wood issues rallying call ahead of South Africa Test

Wood calls for England's pack to have 'no fear' ahead of Boks battle

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UPDATED:

23:21 GMT, 20 November 2012

Tom Wood delivered a stirring call to arms for England’s embattled pack, with a statement of intent about the ‘dog’ work and ‘no fear’ mentality, the aggression and ferocity, which will be needed to trump the mighty Springbok forwards on Saturday.

The Northampton flanker is poised for a recall to the starting XV when Stuart Lancaster names his line-up for the third of four QBE Internationals this autumn, after making a positive impact off the bench in last weekend’s defeat against Australia.

Having been unavailable for the national team’s first eight Tests of 2012 due to a lingering, alarming foot injury, Wood is fired up for a long-awaited return to the first-choice team, in a fixture which suits his abrasive qualities.

Set to start: Tom Wood is in line to start for England against South Africa

Set to start: Tom Wood is in line to start for England against South Africa

Before getting to grips with South Africa at Twickenham, the 26-year-old made his presence felt by demanding England fight fire with fire up front when they take on the Boks. Lancaster’s pack were surprisingly outgunned by the Wallabies last Saturday and Wood’s recall is designed to give them a harder edge.

On Tuesday, he set his stall out to do just that. His powerful words served to illustrate why Lancaster identified him as captain-in-waiting before the foot failed him, and why the head coach may harness his leadership qualities in the future.

Asked if England’s pack need to show a nastier streak, he insisted that they possessed plenty of ‘dog’ (aggressive/fighting qualities), but added: ‘I think it is something we will try to address, not that we have been soft in recent weeks, but with the physical challenge that is coming our way at the weekend, there has got to be an element of that.

‘That is definitely something I would look to bring to the team if I was selected — an enthusiasm and a level of aggression that raises the intensity. It varies in terms of what each ref will let you get away with and how the game unfolds, but getting on the edge of that line is part of any back-row’s role and something I would look to focus on.’

Forward thinker: Wood takes on Australia

Forward thinker: Wood takes on Australia

England are bracing themselves for a traditional Springbok onslaught, with heavy ball-carriers blasting forward to create route-one momentum, as they did so effectively against Lancaster’s side in Johannesburg back in June. Wood wasn’t involved that day, but he is well aware what is coming and what the home team have to do to combat it.

‘It’s going to be a tough physical challenge but we’re ready for it, so if we don’t meet it head-on, I will be surprised and disappointed,’ he said. ‘We are capable of fronting-up physically. There are areas of the game where you can’t avoid that physical confrontation — the breakdown, the scrum.

‘The challenge for us is largely psychological. They’re the type of players that, as opposed to running at space, pick out somebody to run at. James Haskell, who has experienced Super 15 rugby, says playing South African sides is like a man-test. They look for your biggest guy and get theirs to run at him as hard as they can to see who comes out on top. There will be an element of that at the weekend. It’s us against them.

Putting the practice in: Wood during training at Pennyhill Park

Putting the practice in: Wood during training at Pennyhill Park

High jump: Wood catches the ball during line-out practice

High jump: Wood catches the ball during line-out practice

‘If you show any fear and back off to any extent you’ve got a long day at the office. But if you can match it head-on — if somebody comes charging in, teeth gritted, full of rage, and gets his legs lassooed on the gain line and spills the ball or gets turned over, then that turns to frustration and has a big negative effect on them.

‘The early exchanges will be really important psychologically. It’s about showing everybody — yourselves more than anyone — that you’re capable of dealing with it.’

As he spoke, Wood could scarcely contain his enthusiasm for the confrontations that await on Saturday. There was a constant smile, a glint in the eye, as he set his sights on the Springboks.

‘That’s the type of game I love playing,’ he said. ‘I’m very combative and I like to get stuck in. This challenge South Africa present is exactly the type I enjoy.’

England’s management want to harness the angst in the ranks on the back of their 20-14 loss to Australia, much as the Wallabies rallied from a humbling setback in Paris to win at Twickenham. But amid all the talk of a backlash, Andy Farrell insisted it had to be a smart response too, not just all fire and brimstone.

Having declared that the hosts have to ‘man-up’ to cope with the Bok threat, he added: ‘What I was impressed with about Australia last week was that all the chat was about the backlash but they were very composed, even though the pressure was on them. They were clinical and executed very well.

‘That is the key. You can go, “Backlash, backlash, backlash”, but what does it mean You have got to be accurate. We have to keep our composure. We can’t just be a raging bull in a china shop. You hope for a lot of emotion but if you run around enraged for 20 minutes you will be knackered. You have to use it in the right way.’

Jack Wilshere urges Arsene Wenger to play him against Norwich

Wilshere tells Wenger: 'I'm ready to play this weekend against Norwich'

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UPDATED:

22:00 GMT, 17 October 2012

Jack Wilshere has told Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger he is ready to end his 15 month injury nightmare.

The 20-year-old played 90 minutes in a behind-closed-doors friendly defeat to Chelsea at the Gunners’ London Colney HQ on Wednesday.

It was Wilshere’s third match this month after two outings for the club’s Under 21 side and the England international is now convinced he is ready to make his long-awaited return to the Arsenal first-team set up.

Getting a run: Jack Wilshere played 90 minutes for Arsenal in a friendly defeat to Chelsea

Getting a run: Jack Wilshere played 90 minutes for Arsenal in a friendly defeat to Chelsea

Wilshere, who has suffered from a
string of ankle, foot and knee problems, has told Wenger he can make his
comeback in the weekend visit to Norwich.

Whether the Frenchman – who has taken
an ultra cautious approach to Wilshere’s comeback – decides to name the
youngster in his squad remains to be seen but the midfielder’s now looks
set to return in a matter of days rather than weeks.

In more good news, Bacary Sagna also
played 90 minutes in yesterday’s 2-0 defeat after his five month spell
on the sidelines with a broken leg.

Target: Midfielder Wilshere could be back in the Arsenal first team by the end of October

Target: Midfielder Wilshere could be back in the Arsenal first team by the end of October

Chelsea skipper John Terry and Cesar Azpilicueta both played for the Blues XI.

Arsenal’s positive news was countered
though by fears reserve goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianksi could face another
three months out with ruptured ankle ligaments.

The Poland goalkeeper was hoping for a
recall to the squad after being out since February with shoulder
injuries but he damaged his ankle during training on Tuesday.

Cautious: Arsene Wenger will be relishing the chance to name Wilshere in his starting XI once again

Cautious: Arsene Wenger will be relishing the chance to name Wilshere in his starting XI once again

The latest setback for the 27-year-old
means Vito Mannone, who began the season as third choice, will continue
in goal with Argentinian Damian Martinez, 20, and James Shea, 21, as
back-up. First choice Wojciech Szczesny is still three weeks off
recovery from his ankle injury.

Meanwhile, Arsenal, who are watching
Boca Juniors' 18-year-old striker Leandro Paredes, may consider sending
defender Johan Djourou out on loan in January.

Jack Wilshere returns to action for Arsenal

Welcome back, Jack! Wilshere makes long-awaited return for Arsenal U21s

PUBLISHED:

13:09 GMT, 1 October 2012

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UPDATED:

15:12 GMT, 1 October 2012

Jack Wilshere has taken a major step towards returning to first-team action after starting for Arsenal's U21s in their 1-0 defeat at West Brm.

The England midfielder, who has been out of action since July 2011 with ankle and knee problems, completed 62 minutes before he was replaced by Kris Olsson.

Action man: Jack Wilshere played as the No 10 for Arsenal on his return to action

Action man: Jack Wilshere played as the No 10 for Arsenal on his return to action

Ace: The England international will be desperate to put his injury woes behind him

Ace: The England international will be desperate to put his injury woes behind him

Alongside the skilful 20-year-old was Emmanuel Frimpong, another to have been blighted by injury in the last year.

Wilshere, who in his first year in Arsene Wenger's team operated as a deep-lying midfielder, began the game in the No 10 position, matching his new squad number.

Jack's the lad: The 20-year-old was back in action on Monday

Jack's the lad: The 20-year-old was back in action on Monday

Jack's the lad: The 20-year-old was back in action on Monday

Wilshere showed some good early touches early on and created two opportunities as the half progressed.

He was, though, guilty of losing possession in the build up to the game's only goal scored by Yassine El Ghanassy.

Top Gunner: Jack Wilshere is back in action for Arsenal after 14 months out

Top Gunner: Jack Wilshere is back in action for Arsenal after 14 months out

The Arsenal website reported: 'Jack
Wilshere has been lively and showing no ill effects from his injury
problems at all encouragingly.'

Wilshere returned to full training on
September 20 but manager Wenger, despite being impressed with his star
man's progress over the past fortnight, resisted temptations to throw
him into the Capital One Cup clash against Coventry.

All smiles: Wilshere joined Emmanuel Frimpong, who's had his own problems

All smiles: Wilshere joined Emmanuel Frimpong, who's had his own problems

All smiles: Wilshere joined Emmanuel Frimpong, who's had his own problems

London 2012 Olympics: Great Britain 75 Russia 95 – men"s basketball team defeated

Great Britain 75 Russia 95: Kirilenko upstages Deng as comeback ends in defeat

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UPDATED:

21:54 GMT, 29 July 2012

Great Britain's long-awaited return to action in Olympic men's basketball ended in defeat as they were on the wrong end of an explosive display from Russian star Andrei Kirilenko.

Britain, playing Olympic men's basketball for the first time since London last hosted the Games in 1948, battled hard but committed a series of costly turnovers and were made to pay by Kirilenko, who finished with 35 points.

Britain's own star Luol Deng shone brightly as he poured in 26 points and Pops Mensah-Bonsu added 22, but Russia always had an answer.

Star of the show: Andrei Kirilenko

Star of the show: Andrei Kirilenko

Britain started brightly after Deng scored the first points of the game.

The Chicago Bulls star had given them an 11-7 edge with a three-point play, but Victor Khryapa and Alexey Shved responded with back-to-back threes.

A three-pointer from Deng made it 18-17 but it was Russia who finished the first quarter the stronger as they went 24-19 ahead.

Britain got a little sloppy in the second quarter, struggling with their transition defence and, for all the emphasis they have put on taking care of the ball, giving away costly turnovers.

Russia capitalised, and when Deng threw the ball straight at Shved he teed up the outstanding Kirilenko with an alley-oop pass.

Grabbing the Bull by the horns: Deng is floored

Grabbing the Bull by the horns: Deng is floored

Mensah-Bonsu stopped an 8-0 Russia run with a dunk and a three from Dan Clark – who was showing no signs of the ankle injury that had threatened to rule him out of the Games – made it 40-30.

But the turnovers kept coming – there were 14 in the first half and when Nate Reinking fouled Vitaliy Fridzon after giving the ball away, the Russian made him pay with two free throws making it 47-32 shortly before the half.

Britain were able to keep pace with Russia in the third quarter, but still could not find a way to contain Kirilenko, who moved on to 27 points with an easy lay-up moments after Reinking's three had cut the deficit to 64-53.

Deng went coast-to-coast for a driving lay-up, drawing a foul and making it 66-56 from the line with his 20th point of the game.

But Deng then missed a pair from the line when given the chance to make it a single-figure deficit.

Steady progress: Russia, as expected, won comfortably

Steady progress: Russia, as expected, won comfortably

The momentum was well and truly halted when Fridzon came up with a steal and raced into to score, drawing a foul from Freeland to add a bonus point from the line.

When Shved hit a jump-shot, the gap was back out to 71-56.

Mensah-Bonsu opened the fourth quarter with a dunk, but Shved's alley-oop pass was slammed home by Kirilenko, and things got worse when Clark began to hobble badly on his ankle, showing obvious frustration as he went off.

Sullivan then fouled out when left exposed by a Reinking turnover, and Kirilenko piled on the punishment with a three-pointer that made it 81-62.
Freeland made it in to double figures for Britain with 13 points.

Shved finished with 16 for Russia and Fridzon added 14.

Connor Wickham sidelined by new injury

Wickham must wait to impress O'Neill as injury jinx strikes again

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UPDATED:

21:52 GMT, 20 April 2012

Connor Wickham has blown his chance to impress Martin O'Neill after twisting his ankle in training.

The 8million summer signing started
O'Neill's first two games at Sunderland but after a string of injuries –
and the return of Nicklas Bendtner and Fraizer Campbell – the former
Ipswich and England Under-21 striker has struggled to make an impact at
the Stadium of Light.

Ankle injury: Season of frustration continues for Connor Wickham (left)

Ankle injury: Season of frustration continues for Connor Wickham (left)

O'Neill was prepared to give Wickham his first Barclays Premier League start since December at Villa Park on Saturday, but Wickham has suffered another injury setback earlier in the week.

The Sunderland boss said: 'He went over on his ankle and he is out. He was one of the younger players I was thinking about for starting games and we were seeing how he developed in the week.

'I want as many points as possible to keep the momentum going but younger players starting a game is probably more important than giving them 20 minutes as a substitute in a game.

'It would give me a better chance of assessing them, not that I would do it on one game, but it would be a chance and probably fairer.'

O'Neill refused to be drawn on his long-awaited return to Aston Villa, nearly two years after he left.

Returning: Martin O'Neill

Injury woe: Connor Wickham

Going home, staying home: O'Neill returns to Villa Park but Wickham misses out

But the Sunderland boss did admit he does not know if Villa fans will boo him before kick-off.

He said: 'I had the privilege of managing one of the finest clubs in England with fine history and tradition. Things were a little sour in the final season and the irony was it was our best season, but sometimes these things happen.

'I am not going into any explanations on the issues because the eve of this match is not the right time.'

The Sunderland boss also renews his rivalry with his eventual successor Alex McLeish who he knows well from their duels in Glasgow and Birmingham.

He added: 'I never went out to dinner with him and I would not want to have been seen in any corner of Glasgow eating with the Rangers manager or it might have been last time I ate myself.'

Bolton boosted by Lee Chung-yong return to training

Bolton boosted by long-awaited return to training of winger Lee following bad break

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UPDATED:

15:33 GMT, 19 April 2012


Bad break: Lee Chung-yong suffered a double fracture of his leg during pre-season

Bad break: Lee Chung-yong suffered a double fracture of his leg during pre-season

Bolton are set to receive a much-needed boost in their Barclays Premier League relegation battle with the news Lee Chung-yong is on track to return to first-team training next week.

The Korean winger has not featured at all this term after suffering a double fracture of his leg in a pre-season friendly against Newport County but could be back in contention for the final games.

Lee was one of Bolton's best players last season, and his loss was compounded when fellow midfielder Stuart Holden was forced to undergo a second knee operation in September.

Without their key pair, Bolton have found themselves in the bottom three for most of the season and they go into Saturday's clash with Swansea at the Reebok Stadium two points from safety, although with two games in hand on most of their rivals.

Coyle said of Lee: 'I'm hoping tomorrow and Saturday he'll be able to train with the reserves. If he comes through that without any reaction then hopefully he can join my group next week and start to step up his training from there.

'We'd love to have him involved but the most important thing is, in terms of the long term, we don't do anything detrimental. He's worked hard to get himself to the level he is now and he's going to be a very special player.'

Two points from safety: Bolton manager Owen Coyle (right)

Two points from safety: Bolton manager Owen Coyle (right)

Coyle, meanwhile, is still waiting for permission from FIFA to be able to pick Gregg Wylde after the winger arrived from Rangers last month.

The Trotters boss said: 'What they're wanting the paperwork to show is that (his departure from Rangers) wasn't by mutual consent, it was because of administration that Gregg hadn't been paid for a number of weeks and he was made redundant.'

Carlos Tevez welcomed back by Manchester City fans in reserve clash

Tevez welcomed back by fans at reserve clash in first City show since going AWOL

Carlos Tevez has finally made his first public appearance for Manchester City in over five months in a reserve clash against Bolton.

The Argentina striker, who returned to England last month after going AWOL in his homeland following a fall-out with boss Roberto Mancini, is attempting to prove his fitness ahead of a first-team comeback.

He's back: Carlos Tevez in action during the Manchester Senior Cup match at Ewen Fields, Hyde

He's back: Carlos Tevez in action during the Manchester Senior Cup match at Ewen Fields, Hyde

Committed: The Argentina striker goes in for a tackle with Bolton's Adam Blakeman (left)

Committed: The Argentina striker goes in for a tackle with Bolton's Adam Blakeman (left)

Tevez has already had one reserves outing – behind closed doors – in the match against Preston at City's Carrington training base.

The former Manchester United and West
Ham striker may have been worried about what reception he would get
after so publicly snubbing Mancini.

Warming up: Carlos Tevez before the match

All smiles: Tevez with City assistant manager Brian Kidd

Warming up: Tevez on the ball and enjoying a joke with with City assistant manager Brian Kidd (right and below)

Friendly: Tevez shakes hands with Kidd

But Tevez got a 'decent reception'
from the big crowd gathered to see his long-awaited return, according to
City's official Twitter feed.

The 28-year-old forward started the
match, a Manchester Senior Cup semi-final, up front alongside 19-year-old Harry
Bunn, the son of former Oldham hitman Frankie.

Tevez looked lively from the start, spinning away from his marker before firing over the bar early on.

He then came close to scoring with a 25-yard free-kick in the first half but was thwarted by Bolton keeper Jay Lynch.

More to follow.

On the ball: Tevez (left) in action during his first public appearance for City since his return to England

On the ball: Tevez (left) in action during his first public appearance for City since his return to England