Sergio Aguero is looking to the future as Manchester City look to put a traumatic week behind them following the Carlos Tevez controversy with victory at Blackburn on Saturday.
Tevez has been suspended by City until further notice for a maximum of two weeks while the club conducts an investigation into allegations he refused to appear as a substitute during the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich.
The saga has dominated the build-up to City's trip to Ewood Park, where manager Roberto Mancini's men are desperate to put the events of the last few days behind them. But Tevez's international teammate Aguero insisted that the team is focused on defeating Blackburn — despite the events in Munich.
“On Tuesday a strong rival took the match,” wrote Aguero on his official Twitter page. “We've got our minds on Blackburn now and on growing as a team. There's a lot ahead of us!”
Aguero admits though he has been saddened by the conflict which has left Tevez seemingly heading for the exit at Eastlands. “Carlos is a great player but obviously I am not inside his mind, to know his thoughts and opinions,” Aguero said while acknowledging Mancini's authority over team affairs.
“Roberto is in charge,” he said. "He puts through his opinions and ideas, and obviously makes his decisions. We just have to go with it.”
Tevez will not make the trip to Blackburn while Bosnian international Edin Dzeko also faces a battle for his place despite apologising to Mancini for his petulant reaction to being substituted in midweek.
Balotelli may start
Mario Balotelli, who has scored twice in his last two appearances, may be chosen ahead of Dzeko, who has seven goals this season, to partner Aguero. Despite the turbulent few days, Mancini will be hopeful City can remain focused and avoid a similar Champions League hangover which saw it drop points away at Fulham after it drew with Napoli earlier this month.
That remains City's only blip so far in the league as it has rattled in the goals, 19 in total, to join rival Manchester United level on points at the top of the table. The Rovers manager has yet to see his side keep a clean sheet this season. Kean relieved some pressure on himself with the 4-3 win against Arsenal in their last home game, but it then suffered a fourth league defeat in six games at the hands of Newcastle last Saturday.
Meanwhile, coach Kenny Dalglish has hinted that captain Steven Gerrard may have to wait until after the international break to make his first Liverpool start following a six-month injury lay-off.
Gerrard is desperate to play a key role in Saturday's match against Everton after two brief substitute appearances since recovering from a groin problem.