Roberto Mancini has called on his Manchester City players to dismiss the hammer blow of losing Carlos Tevez from Saturday's FA Cup semi-final and “change the history” of the club.
As expected, Tevez will miss the Wembley clash with Manchester United with the hamstring injury he suffered at Liverpool on Monday.
Mancini believes it could be a month before the South American is fully recovered, although that should at least mean he will figure in the last couple of games in City's attempt to reach next season's Champions League, in addition to the FA Cup final should they make it.
Yet the Blues boss views this as a minor inconvenience compared to the overall picture, in which a club that has won nothing in 35 years and suffered the humiliation of being relegated to English football's third tier in 1998 bids to complete their ascent to the highest echelons.
“All my players should understand very well this is a big moment for us,” said Mancini.
“We can change the history of the club. The first trophy is the hardest, but it is time for Manchester City to win something.”
It is exactly the kind of rousing speech City's fans need right now. Living in the shadow of the men from Old Trafford, with Sheikh Mansour's enormous investment from Abu Dhabi, there had been a growing feeling this was their time.
Yet the optimism was punctured when City suffered a three-goal hammering at Liverpool, during which Tevez limped off, followed one day later by United cruising past Chelsea to book a fourth Champions League semi-final appearance in five seasons.