Manchester City winger Adam Johnson has revealed that the Citizens' sensational performance against Sunderland can be attributed to a motivational 'pep-talk' from club chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
City cruised to an emphatic 5-0 victory at Eastlands on Sunday, as Roberto Mancini's side showcased an array of free-flowing, attack minded football.
The impressive performance lifts City to third place in the Barclays Premier League table, with some sections of the media touting them for an outside chance of winning the title.
But Johnson is not letting himself get carried away and remains focused on the primary goal of securing Champions League football next season.
"The chairman spoke to us in the morning and outlined what it would mean to get into the Champions League.
"It's been years since anything like that happened for City and I think that spurred us on for the victory.
"He said he was fully backing us and that everyone was behind us to get that Champions League place.
"He also said how important it was to win a trophy because we hadn't won one for over 30 years. It was a really motivational message for us all to push on."
The England international winger, who recently returned from injury – announced his comeback by opening the scoring in the weekend victory continued:
"We haven't had a major blip this season, just a couple of bad results, and it was good to win so well against Sunderland.
"There are seven games left in the league and we've just got to keep winning."
With vital fixtures to come, Manchester City are well and truly in the driving seat as they prepare for their biggest week in the club's recent history.
City fans can look forward to a trip to Anfield on Monday, before taking on Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-finals at Wembley the following weekend.
"We must not take our eye off the league situation, even though we have a semi-final coming up against our biggest rivals.
"It will be a massive game and an unbelievable occasion for everyone," Johnson concluded.