Joleon Lescott believes that, despite the loss of two points at Sunderland, the momentum in the race for fourth place is still firmly with the Blues.
Two points separate City in fifth and Spurs in the coveted fourth spot and both are still closely shadowed by Villa and by Liverpool who play tonight.
But crucially it is Roberto Mancini’s men who have most games left to play and Lescott believes that home rule could be the key to realising the ambition of Champions League football.
“Six of last nine games will be at the City of Manchester Stadium, two of them against Spurs and Villa, so home form will be hugely important,” he declared. “We cannot take anything for granted but we have been good at home this season.
“We feel we lost two points at Sunderland because we missed so many chances to score in the second half but we still feel as though we are in the driving seat in the race for fourth place.
“The manager told us at half time that what we had produced wasn’t good enough and we improved after the interval. Now we have to carry that forward to Fulham this weekend.
We don’t feel we have damaged our ambitions. It is a tight race and is going to remain that way right through to the end of the season
“The great thing for us is that we have a clean bill of health, a lot of competition for places, and attacking players who can turn a game in a second as we saw on Sunday.”
Lescott was referring to Adam Johnson’s injury time leveller that rescued a point and had everyone who saw it coo with admiration.
“I expect Adam to be in the England squad in future years,” said Lescott. “He is a hugely talented player. He just has to believe in himself and keep doing what he is doing.
“With Adam, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Craig Bellamy in our squad we are blessed with the wide players that we have at the club. We have game changing players.”