Roberto Mancini has warned Manchester City not to ease off as they close in on the Champions League.
A place in Europe's number one club competition could be secured as early as Saturday evening should City overcome Everton at Goodison Park and Tottenham lose to Blackpool in the later game. But more likely, City will have to wait until next Tuesday's home encounter with Spurs to confirm their new exalted status.
"It is important to reach the Champions League by the end of the season, it doesn't matter whether it is Saturday or Tuesday or any of the four games we still have left," he said. "We need another four points. Then we would be 100% sure. It was the first target we had when we started the season and at this moment we have a big chance."
He added: "But we have done nothing yet."
Even if City do complete their task, there are some who feel it will still represent a missed opportunity and that Mancini over-estimated the strengths of Manchester United and Chelsea in what has largely been derided as a sub-standard Premier League.
The Italian is not convinced, and feels the lure of Champions League combat could attract the additional talent that would ensure the problems City have encountered this season can be combated should they occur again.
"We had a problem when we had five or six important players injured at a crucial moment between February and March and lost some games," he said. "This experience will be very important next year.
"It is important that we go to the Champions League because we still need to improve.
"If we can buy some more good players, we have a chance."
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