Nigel de Jong has admitted he can still remember the pain of Manchester City's loss to Tottenham at Eastlands last year - but it will all be forgotten once the rematch starts on Tuesday night.

When the two sides met last term, Tottenham took the spoils through a late Peter Crouch goal which booked their place in the Champions League. Now though, it seems to be their turn. Victory on Tuesday will secure at the very least a place in the qualifiers for Europe's most prestigious competition.

And De Jong is determined not to let any bad memories get in their way, as he said: "As we get towards the game, you always think about last season. But we are in a different position now. We have got everything in our hands."

He added: "In any case, when you are on the pitch you don't think about it. Your focus is just on those three points. What happened in the past doesn't matter."

It looks increasingly likely skipper Carlos Tevez will play some part, which would pave the way for the South American to lead City into Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley.

And it is that meeting with Stoke, City's first cup final for 30 years, which manager Roberto Mancini feels has been affected more by Saturday's surprise defeat at Everton, rather than their top-four hopes.

After all, even if they lose, the Blues will still only require three points from their final two games against Stoke and Bolton next week to achieve their number one pre-season target.

The Italian's worry is that his key men may end up tired, which will hamper preparations for the Blues first final appearance in 30 years.

"I don't think we have a problem for fourth spot," he said. "We still have three games left and we only need three points. But it was important we beat Everton because we have to prepare well for the final.

"Now I shall play with all the team against Tottenham because we want to win. That is not perfect for the final."

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