Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini admits the absence of Carlos Tevez for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United has come as a huge blow for his side.Mancini confirmed on Thursday that Tevez could miss the next four weeks with a hamstring injury – at a time when City are not only fighting for their first trophy in 35 years, but also to finish in the top four in the English Premier League.
The club’s hopes of finishing in the Champions League places were dented on Monday night after being thumped 3-0 by Liverpool – and Tevez limped off in that match with an injury that now rules him out of Saturday’s derby.
“Tevez is not available for Saturday. I think he will recover in three or four weeks. It is a big problem but we can’t take any risks,” Mancini said.
“We have six games left and hopefully we can get Carlos back for the last two or three games.”
The Argentina striker, City’s top scorer, could be fit in time for the FA Cup final if Manchester City get there, with either Stoke or Bolton the opponents at Wembley.
Mancini will have to rely on either Edin Dzeko or Mario Balotelli to shoulder the goalscoring burden in Tevez’s absence.
“I still have to decide what to do. But both players know this is an important chance for them,” Mancini said.
“Every player knows this is an important moment for the club. If we will we can go to a final, so every player will give 100 percent.”
Mancini has had to fight off speculation regarding his job at Eastlands and there have been reports that he could be sacked if City fail to finish in the top four.
But he insists everyone at the club should be content as he looks towards the Wembley showdown with rivals United.
“We should be happy at the moment as it’s the first time in a long time are in the semi-final. We have a good chance of this and the Champions League,” Mancini said.
“The fans should be happy for this situation and for this game. We need to focus on this game and we need to understand it is very important. If we play well, we can get to the final.”
“United are in good form. They are very strong but I am not worried about this game – I am sure we will play well.”