Kolo Toure remains convinced Manchester City can become Premier League champions for the first time since 1968 - and says he would "love it" if controversial Argentine Carlos Tevez scored the title-clinching goal for the team.
After a difficult midweek in Europe that saw both Manchester clubs eliminated from the Europa League, the two rival camps can now focus exclusively on trying to win the domestic title.
And with Tevez having reconciled his differences with City and their manager Roberto Mancini, at least for now, there is a good chance he could be involved when Chelsea visit the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday for a crucial Premier League showdown.
If so, it will be the first time since late September that the former Manchester United forward has featured on the pitch after refusing to warm up for a Champions League game in Munich.
However, that long drawn-out and acrimonious rift between Tevez and Mancini has clearly not affected the Argentine's standing within the City squad, as Toure told The Guardian: "It would be great if he could play against Chelsea because he's got a great record against them.
"I would love it if he scored the goal to win us the title because for me he's a great player. A problem can happen but his quality is still there. It's great to have him in the squad again. He can score goals and he's a strong player."
Toure, a title winner with Arsenal's 'Invincibles' in 2003-04, added: "We all know Carlos, he's quality. I think he's going to be a big lift for us to have a player like him. Now he's back and he can play it will be great to have him, especially at this time."
The Ivorian centre-back believes City can shake off some recent disappointments to get their title bid firmly back on track, having slipped a point behind United last weekend. "We just need now to show our commitment and give 100 per cent from the first minute to the last minute," he stressed.
"We didn't give 100% in the first half [against Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League]. In the second half the manager told us to show a bit more. We needed to do it because it is the second time now. At Swansea [where City lost 1-0 last Sunday] we played the first half not very good and against Lisbon the first half wasn't good.
"I don't know why we are doing that. It must be the mentality. The season is very long, there is a lot of pressure. Maybe it is that. But there is no excuse. We are footballers and we knew this season would be difficult. The most difficult time is now because we are closer to the end of the season and the most important games are now."
Although City battled back impressively from 2-0 down at half-time and 3-0 down on aggregate against Sporting, winning the match 3-2, they lost the tie on the away goals rule. But Toure is convinced that comeback can inspire them to greater heights domestically.
"That showed we have some great quality in there. We just need to show that from the first minute because if we play like we did in those last 30 minutes, nobody can stop us," he said.
"We need to do that from the first minute. High concentration, that is important. If we play like we did in the first 45 minutes, we won't win the league. But if we play like we did in the last 30, we can," he said.
And he insists the squad have no doubts that they can become champions: "Yes, of course [we can win the title], because we have been leading this Premier League for six months and we can't give up now. We just need to believe. It's going to be massive for the club. It's going to be a dream come true for City after what everybody put into this club. We just need to give everything we have and show character."
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