Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Mancini relishing Spurs showdown

Roberto Mancini

Ten months hard work has come down to 90 minutes for Manchester City - and Roberto Mancini cannot wait.

Although there is still one game remaining this weekend, Wednesday's encounter between City and Tottenham at Eastlands has been billed as a Champions League decider. If Tottenham win, they cannot be caught in fourth. For City it would open up a whole new world, which the huge amount of cash at their disposal makes them ideally placed for.

"I know this is an important moment for the club," said Mancini. "We have worked for this. All the players have worked for this target.

"I have worked here for five months. I can build a good future here. We are trying to change the history of the club."

As Mancini's arrival came as a direct result of fears amongst the ownership that City would fail in their top-four quest if Mark Hughes remained as manager, he can hardly avoid the inevitable question marks about his own future at Eastlands.

Yet the former Inter Milan coach insists he will remain next season, no matter how this one ends.

"My future does not come down to this game," he said. "We have qualified for the Europa League next year, that is important. Now we have a chance to do more."

Mancini is determined his players should not be affected by the situation, although, on the training ground at least, he sees no sign.

"There is no pressure. It is a football match not a war," he said.

"Being in the Champions League would allow us to progress. It is important for the club and everyone here. But we must not be nervous and I don't think the players are. They are all concentrated."

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