Roberto Mancini has circled December on his calendar as a vital month for his fast-improving Blues.
City hurtle towards the holiday period buoyed by the momentum of a six-match unbeaten run the best since the Italian took the reins eleven months ago.
Whilst Chelsea face Spurs, United and Arsenal and the Gunners face up to Alex Ferguson’s men, the Blues have four home games in the next half dozen none of them against the favourites to be in the leading quartet come May.
“The game against Bolton is a crucial match in a crucial month,” he declared. “We can get into a good position in the Barclay’s Premier League. It is in our own hands.”
“We must have the same approach and mentality against Bolton as we did against Fulham, in the second half against Stoke and on Wednesday night.
We have four home games between now and the second day of the New Year. It is a chance for us to make progress
“What is important at this busy time is that we have everyone fit. All players will be important during these weeks when we play every few days and sometimes twice in three days. They have to be physically and mentally ready to play at any time.”
Mancini is wary of the threat posed by an in-form Bolton side but is cheered by the current form of Italian striker Mario Balotelli who has five goals to his name from just four starts.
“Bolton are improving and have a good manager,” said Roberto. “I think they may have surprised a few people. It will be a hard game for us.
“But we are playing well and we are improving. Mario being available is a big help and I think he can play alongside anyone. He did well in midweek as did Adam Johnson and others.
“I have no doubts that Mario can play alongside Carlos Tevez, Emmanuel Adebayor, David Silva, Jo and Roque Santa Cruz. They are all experienced players and they can all complement one another. This is important.”