Roberto Mancini urged his team and fans not to get carried away after a five-goal thrashing of Notts County opened up a potential home route to the FA Cup semi-finals.
In classic managerial style Mancini advised one game at a time after seeing three late goals add gloss to a lopsided win over League One County.
City struggled in the opening half hour before finding their elegant and classy stride and then leaning that should they overcome Aston Villa in the fifth round there will be home quarter final awaiting against either Everton or Reading.
“We play every three days so it is not easy to be on top form all the time,” said Mancini after the 5-0 win.
“We started slowly but in the first half hour Notts County played well. We did very well in the second half and took our chances too.
“The FA Cup is an important competition and we want to win it. Reaching the final is our aim but we cannot look too far ahead. We have a Europa tie on Thursday and then we must play in the league on Sunday before the cup match against Villa.
“It is good to be drawn at home but we never seem to beat Everton. In any case we and they have tough matches to get through before then.
It is a lot to ask to win every week but we must rest well and then work hard
Mancini stressed that it had always been the plan to give Mario Balotelli an hour of play in the County game and shrugged off suggestions that the striker was unhappy to go off after hurting his head and clutching his knee.
“We want to ease Mario back into action. He knew he would not play the full game. Sometimes in training when he misses a chance he holds his knee and then when he scores he doesn’t,” laughed the manager.
“His knee is ok. We want him to play for the next two months which is why we had the plan to ease him back into the game.”
Mancini will hope to have Shaun Wright-Phillips back for the visit of Aris next Thursday after the England man missed out with a bad back. However, the news of Shay Given is not so good.
“He has a shoulder problem and next week he will go to the doctor in London to see if he needs surgery,” concluded Mancini.
FA CUP QUARTER FINAL DRAW:
Stoke v West Ham or Burnley;
Man City or Aston Villa v Everton or Reading;
Birmingham v Bolton;
Manchester United v Leyton Orient or Arsenal.