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All-action Tevez to hit top gear

Tevez

Tevez

Mark Hughes expects to see action man Carlos Tevez step up a gear now that Argentina have finally negotiated their troubled passage through to next summer's World Cup finals.

The Blues striker, who was injured when he arrived in the summer, has been subject to draining international breaks during Diego Maradona's controversial qualification for South Africa.

But Tevez ran himself into the ground at Wigan with an old school high-energy display that included a desperate do-or-die dive in a bid to block flustered goalkeeper Chris Kirkland.

Hughes said: "Carlos missed all of pre-season, which was a blow to him and a blow to us. He's still playing catch-up, but every game he plays he's getting back towards those energy levels.

"It's been a bit fragmented for him because of the trips with Argentina that have taken him away when the week he could have had here would have been more beneficial.

"Now the internationals have been put to one side, he can focus on getting up to speed very quickly. At the weekend he was closing down full-backs, centre-halves and the goalkeeper.

"He's done that ever since he came to the Premier League, that's why he's endeared himself to so many people. Sometimes he gets nowhere but at Wigan the keeper shanked it due to his presence."

Tevez is not known as a prolific marksman, but he hit two against his former club West Ham and Hughes added: "He's top quality. Give him the opportunities and he'll put them away.

"He's young in Premier League terms. Over the next three or four years he'll keep developing his game and developing as a player. If he gets strikes on goal, he'll take more than he misses."

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