Tevez keen to win over doubters

PSG director Leonardo suggested his team are more suited to

playing in the Champions League than Ligue 1 after an embarrassing

defeat to 10-man Reims.

Carlo Ancelotti’s side went down 1-0 in Reims as Grzegorz

Krychowiak scored in the 64th minute, six minutes after the hosts

had Christopher Glombard sent off for a second bookable


PSG had already seen Zlatan Ibrahimovic denied a goal for a

questionable offside decision, but missed several other chances and

surrendered vital ground in the tight Ligue 1 title race.

It was a second away defeat in a row for PSG and Leonardo warned

there could be more as his expensively-assembled team was

constructed for grander stages.

“We are perhaps not made to play in these types of games,” the

Brazilian told Infosport. “We created a team to play in the

Champions League, not the championship.

“We don’t know yet how to handle games where the situation is

against us, where the surface is difficult and we have an important

game every three days.”

However bold their ambitions on the continental stage, Leonardo

admitted they must find a way to win at home in order to stay in

control of the title race.

“When games are based on a fight, we do not succeed,” he said.

“We will have to learn how to face games like these when it gets

tough, as they are common here and this will not be the last


But while Leonardo’s comments seemed to question PSG’s title

credentials, coach Carlo Ancelotti insisted he had no worries about

his team’s attitude.

“It’s a big disappointment, because we had the opportunity to

win this game with the chance for (Ezequiel) Lavezzi in the first

half and the (disallowed) goal of Ibrahimovic in the second,”

Ancelotti said.

“The only thing I can say is we have to accept this defeat and

better manage matches like this.”

Prior to this match, PSG had enjoyed back-to-back victories over

rivals Marseille in the league and cup, but they also lost their

last league outing away from home in losing 3-2 to Sochaux.

“This is different to Sochaux,” Ancelotti added. “Today we do

not have any attitude problem. It was not a problem of

concentration, but a technical thing. We encountered difficulties

in the game because the pitch was not good. If you cannot play

football, it is hard.

“But I cannot be angry because the team is doing a good job and

we are still leading (the table). We might have won if Lavezzi took

that chance and then the officials had made a different


Tevez has re-established himself as a regular in Roberto

Mancini’s side this season, something that was almost unthinkable

last year as he went on unauthorised leave in his homeland for

several months, apparently ready to quit the game.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to come back,” Tevez told the

Sunday Times. “I’d left City and you could almost say I’d left

through the back door. But it is almost like there are two Tevezes.

There’s the Tevez before, who had a problem, and there’s the Tevez

now, who no longer has problems.”

Tevez said the key has been getting his family back together.

Tevez had requested a transfer from City prior to his walkout when

his wife and children returned to Argentina, but now they are all

back in England Tevez said he has a different perspective on his


“It totally changes everything, your disposition, your humour,

just having them close,” he said. “If I wasn’t selected in the past

I’d be in a terrible mood. Now I’m still gutted but I go home, see

my daughters, it takes my mind off it and I feel better.”

The 29-year-old has 11 goals in 33 appearances in all

competitions this season, not quite matching the outstanding return

of his pre-walkout days but still a highly valuable part of Roberto

Mancini’s strikeforce.

Despite that, a sizeable number of City fans still bear a grudge

after last season, with Tevez’s goals often met with a more muted

celebration than those of his team-mates.

Tevez can understand that, but is still working to win them over

with his new attitude.

“I knew it would be difficult for the fans to accept me again,”

he said. “But I hope, little by little, match by match…you give

everything for the shirt and win them over through hambre de gloria

(hunger for glory). I was once a real idol for these fans, they

were so supportive of me. I hope I’m able to win them back.”

While his standing with the supporters still needs work, Tevez

is adamant he and Mancini are now “fine”, their once fiery

relationship “a lot calmer now”.

“It might be down to maturity,” he added. “Maybe, before, I was

under a lot more pressure. I was a leader of the team. People would

often say, ‘If Carlos has a bad day, City have a bad day’. Maybe

you just reach a point where there’s worse things in life than

disappointment in football.

“If I come off the bench and score but I’m not in the next

starting line-up I’m a lot more accepting.”