Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

KOLO TOURE has been backed to have the men­tal tough­ness to put his drugs shame be­hind him and get back to his best.

The Manch­ester City de­fender (right) is set to make his long-awaited come­back against Car­ling Cup hold­ers Birm­ing­ham af­ter serv­ing his six months ban for fail­ing a drugs test.

The Ivory Coast in­ter­na­tional tested pos­i­tive for a banned sub­stance con­tained in some slim­ming pills he took that be­longed to his wife.

Toure has been forced to watch his side win the FA Cup and reach the Cham­pi­ons League with­out him.

But former team-mate Pa­trick Vieira says Toure – whose re­turn will over­shadow Owen Har­g­reaves’ de­but – can re­turn to the top again.

Vieira said: “It has been a re­ally dif­fi­cult time for him, but hope­fully that’s be­hind him now and he can get back to do­ing what he loves, which is to play foot­ball.

“He is men­tally strong and his de­sire to play well, to work hard and his com­mit­ment to the club has al­ways been fan­tas­tic.

“Of course he can re­gain his form. He is never sat­is­fied with his game, he al­ways wants to be at the top.

“The peo­ple who re­main at the top have a strong mind, but they are also hard work­ers and Kolo is like this.”

Birm­ing­ham de­fender Steven Cald­well said: “We need to be men, stand up and be strong.

“We have to be tough and come out all guns blaz­ing.”

GUT­TED: Dal­glish felt the pain at White Hart Lane

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