Mancini relishing Tottenham showdown

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, tomorrow'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.

The enormity of City's potential seems to have inhibited them in recent weeks.

But, after rallying to beat Aston Villa at the weekend, now Mancini knows the Blues are approaching their date with destiny.

"I know this is an important moment for the club," said the Italian.

"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 certainly appears happy enough.

Although it is hardly a surprise for him to state progress has been made since he arrived at the club in December, there is a sense of City becoming a more formidable, if less exciting outfit.

Certainly no-one will be interested in the entertainment value tomorrow, when the result tramples over any other consideration.

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.

"If you are not happy where you work I don't think you stay. I am happy because I want to build a good team here..

"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."

Although Joleon Lescott has been ruled out of the run-in with a hamstring injury, City could have Gareth Barry available after the midfielder missed Saturday's victory over his former club with a similar problem.

Victory will leave City needing to win at West Ham on Sunday to confirm their position among Europe's elite, which does not create much room for any other topic in Mancini's mind.

There is no discussion of potential summer targets - the latest links are for Benfica duo Angel Di Maria and David Luiz - just a total focus on the task ahead, knowing Tottenham will be going through exactly the same process.

"Tottenham are a good team," said Mancini.

"They have very good players and a good manager, who is very experienced.

"They have been fantastic in the Premier League this year. Now Tottenham and ourselves must play for fourth position. It is fantastic for us and them.

"I can see how much people here want this. I would like all the people who work here and come tomorrow to leave with a good feeling.

"I like this situation."

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower