Nigel de Jong is narrowing his focus onto a game that he thinks could be the defining moment for the rest of City's season.
By the time the tigerish Dutchman and his City team mates run out at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, they will know how the weekend's results will have affected City's standing in the chase for a Champions League - with one important exception.
Liverpool do not play until Monday night, so three points for City on a ground where they have won on their last four visits could put space between them and the sides below while keeping pace with Spurs, depending how their home game with Blackburn Rovers pans out.
"It's always difficult keeping up with what's going on from game to game," he mused. “For us there are 11 games left so we just have to keep our focus for each game. We have to start that with Sunderland, everybody knows that's going to be a difficult one and I think it will decide how the rest of our season goes.
With Liverpool losing to Wigan we can make the gap bigger, and we have games in hand over them. So this is going to be such an important game
...Nigel de Jong
Then we still have to play the other rivals around us at home. Sunderland on Sunday is a big chance for us and we'll have to put our biggest effort in."
It will be over a fortnight since City's last game by the time the whistle blows on Sunday, but in the 25-year-old's opinion the Blues cannot afford to dwell on the superb win at Stamford Bridge that reignited City's quest for the Champions League.
"We'll keep an eye on the other results," he continued. “But as soon as we get to the weekend we just have to focus on ourselves and our own game. You can't look back, and you can't think about what the other teams around us are doing too much because Sunday is a huge game for us.
“It's natural that in the back of our minds we'll know that a win could take us away from the other teams and put some pressure on them as well.
"Our last game was away and that win has given us a huge boost in confidence. We're good at home, we need to carry that on but picking up points away is going to be vital."