Manchester City`s England winger Adam Johnson has revealed how a pre-match pep talk from chairman Khaldoon al-Mubarak spurred his side on to their 5-0 hammering of Sunderland on Sunday.
City moved into the top three with the win, which came just hours after Khaldoon had flown in from Abu Dhabi. Roberto Mancini`s men are currently on course for automatic qualification for the Champions League and Johnson revealed the chairman had a part to play in their latest victory.
He said: "The chairman Khaldoon spoke to us on Sunday morning. He outlined what getting into the Champions League would mean to this club and, I think, spurred everyone on for the victory against Sunderland."
Johnson added: "He said he was fully backing us and that everyone was behind us to get that Champions League place.
"To get into the Champions League would be massive for this club but he also said how important it was to win a trophy because we hadn't won one for over 30 years."
City face Manchester United in the semi-finals of the FA Cup on April 16.