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Sabella banishes Tevez until club return

17 February 2012 15:27

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said he will not select Carlos Tevez until the striker makes his way back into the Manchester City team.

Tevez has struggled to break back in to the South American nation's set-up after a poor Copa America, which culminated in the star missing the decisive penalty in the quarter-final shootout against Uruguay.

He has not featured in one of Sabella's squads since the breakdown in relations with City, which saw him move back to Buenos Aires.

Tevez returned to Eastlands on Tuesday, but his national coach Sabella asserted that it would not be easy for the front man to make his way back into the fold after nearly five months without competitive football.

"If (Tevez) is not playing much it will be tough for him because he is lacking in competition. The sooner he can start playing more often, the better," the coach told Ole on Thursday.

"I called up Maxi (Rodriguez) because he is versatile, experienced and gets forward. He does not play every game in England but he gives us more options in attack. He does not have to play every game, he just has to be a tactical option; that is why even if Tevez doesn't play every game, being on the field will give him a better chance."

The former Estudiantes man added that the area Argentina needed to improve more than any was defence.

"(My priority is) to consolidate the team from the halfway line back. We are watching players and trying to mix experience with youth, the qualifiers are difficult and we have to show experience and character to eliminate our failings," Sabella said.

Argentina take on Switzerland in Bern on February 29.

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