Belfast Telegraph

Mancini backs Torres to come good

Roberto Mancini is certain Fernando Torres will come good for Chelsea - he just does not want the £50million striker to start his renaissance against Manchester City on Sunday.

Despite arriving at Stamford Bridge amid a huge fanfare following his British record move from Liverpool in January, Torres is still to score for his new club.

Torres has yet to score for Chelsea since his British record move from Liverpool in January, and Sunday will mark the Spain star's seventh appearance for the Blues. Victory is essential for both sides if they are to stand a chance of overhauling Manchester United and Arsenal in the Premier League title race.

"Torres is a fantastic player," said Mancini. "You need time to understand different team-mates."

Likening Torres' struggles to those of his own Edin Dzeko, who has scored four times since a £27million transfer window arrival from Wolfsburg but is still to open his Premier League account and has struggled to gain a regular starting spot recently, Mancini realises the quality will shine through eventually.

"Maybe he is like Edin at this moment because they are both in new teams and it is not easy," he added.

"But Torres is always dangerous. And like Edin, when he starts to score he will be a big problem for opposition defences."

Mancini surprised many observers earlier this season when he declared Chelsea would win the title "easily". However, it has not turned out that way and City approach Sunday's encounter at Stamford Bridge with their noses in front of Carlo Ancelotti's men, even if they have played a game more.

Yet Mancini has not written Chelsea off just yet. With all their senior players back, the Blues chief feels they can still have a major impact over the testing run-in.

"Maybe they could still win it because we have a long way to go," he said. "Chelsea had the same problem that we have at this moment. They had four or five important players injured for a long time. This is why their form wasn't so good. But with the Champions League in the middle, anything can happen."


From Belfast Telegraph