Roberto Mancini was delighted with City's first win on the road this year as Edin Dzeko stepped off the bench to snatch all three points at Blackburn Rovers.
But while the City manager has strengthened his grip on a ticket into next season's Champions League, he warned that every game in the Blues' run-in will be a hurdle to overcome.
He said: "We should have scored two goals in the first half, but at this stage they are all difficult games, and in the second half the game changed because Blackburn played strongly and very hard.
"We had to fight with them for our win - sometimes we can win like this as well. But after this game we should only think of Sunday's game against West Ham, because it will be hard like this evening."
Dzeko had been on the pitch only minutes when he fired a right-footer past former England keeper Paul Robinson to seal City's first away League win since beating Newcastle on Boxing Day.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina striker had not scored in the League since signing from Wolfsburg in January, and Mancini said: "I'm very happy for Edin because he is a good player and a good man. I'm very happy for him tonight."
City now have a four-point cushion over fifth-placed Tottenham, who have still to play at Eastlands in what will be a crunch game for the last Champions League place next season.
They could yet catch faltering Arsenal for third spot, but Mancini said: "If Chelsea lose all their games and we win, we can be in second position - anything is possible! But now it is important that we continue to win when we play West Ham."