Carlos Tevez has claimed that he has made several personal efforts to help his troubled Manchester City strike partner Mario Balotelli.
The Italian has been a figure of controversy both on and off the pitch since his arrival at the Etihad Stadium in 2010, epitomised by the physical confrontation this week between himself and manager Roberto Mancini in a training session.
However, according to Tevez, who himself fell out with the manager last season in a dispute that saw him sit out six months of competition, the incidents involving Balotelli are no different to those involving players at other teams.
“These kind of incidents have happened at all the clubs I’ve been,” the former Manchester United man told reporters.
“But here at City the spotlight is always on us, always on Roberto and Mario. So it always comes out, but this kind of thing happens everywhere. Mario has been doing okay. He has been working and trying to improve.
“That’s what he did coming back from illness and injury, and it’s what he’s been trying to do.
“I try to help Mario. I talk to him on and off the pitch. I talked to him just before a free kick we were about to take, and I let him take it so he could improve his confidence, so things can get better for him.
“I’ve been in that moment like him, so I’m always keen to help him and keep him going so he doesn’t make the same mistakes.”
Tevez scored, while Balotelli appeared from the bench as City comfortably saw off Watford 3-0 to progress into the fourth round of the FA Cup on Saturday.