African returnees a huge lift for Mancini
- Sat 30 Jan 2010, 1:43PM
- Posted by Chris Bailey & Tim Oscroft
City’s bid for a top four league place and FA Cup glory has been boosted by the timely return of former Arsenal duo Kolo Toure and Emmanuel Adebayor.
And with Patrick Vieira, Roque Santa Cruz, Joleon Lescott and Wayne Bridge all likely to be ready for action in the next ten days to a fortnight, there is every reason to believe Roberto Mancini and his squad can swiftly put the Carling Cup semi final loss out of their minds.
Adebayor played a second half cameo role as a substitute at Old Trafford on Wednesday night but is now physically and mentally ready after his ordeal in Angola at the African Cup on Nations to help take the scoring strain from the shoulders of Carlos Tevez.
Adebayor hasn’t started a home game or found the net for the Blues since the 2-1 win over Chelsea back in the first week of December.
That was his sixth goal of a campaign that started in a personal blaze of glory as he bagged four in each of the opening quartet of Premier League games including the 1-0 win at Portsmouth at the end of August.
Mancini believes his Togo striker in now poised to blossom again and he could have a big part to play tomorrow.
“Ade has been OK, he played for 20 minutes the other night but needed more training time with us,” reflected the manager.
But for Sunday I think he will be ready, and with both he and Kolo back for us we will be stronger
...Mancini on Manu and Kolo
Toure arrived back from the Ivory Coast’s ACN exit too late to be considered for the Carling Cup semi second leg but he has trained over the last three days and showed no ill-effects from the travelling.
“Kolo is back, I spoke to him on Thursday for the first time since he returned and he is ready. We will need them because Sunday will be another hard game,” reckoned Mancini.
“Portsmouth despite all their problems off the pitch can be dangerous. They showed that in midweek when they came from behind to draw.
“I feel it will be another tough match for us but we have recovered as well as we could from our loss in the cup.”