Roberto Mancini hailed his team’s mental strength and character after a convincing 3-0 win over Stoke put the Blues within one victory of guaranteeing a third place Premier League finish.
A win over Bolton on Sunday will mean City achieving their highest top level finish since the 1976/77 campaign when Tony Book’s side ended as runners-up and Mancini believes his team have every chance of ending a terrific season on yet another high.
“It was a fantastic performance by the players, especially so soon after the FA Cup Final so I’m very happy with this victory,” said the City manager.
“It was important that we kept our concentration and we did. Our main aim this season was to qualify for the Champions League, but now we have a very good chance of finishing third which would be perfect.
“I don’t think the game with Bolton will be easy and we must play as well as we did against Stoke in order to beat them, but Arsenal have a difficult game at Fulham, too.
“We have only one game left and I think there is a big difference between finishing fourth and having to qualify for the Champions League and third where you go straight into the group stage. We are third and we want to finish third.”
Mancini also praised two-goal skipper Carlos Tevez and revealed he believes the Argentinian will still be a City player next season.
“He’s scored 21 goals this season and I keep repeating myself that he’s a very important player for us,” he said.
Carlos is Carlos – a fantastic striker and a fantastic all-round player
“I think he will stay here next season and he has told me he wants to stay. He has a five-year contract at this football club and I don’t think there are any problems. I have spoken with him many times over the last three weeks and it’s my opinion he will remain a Manchester City player
“Of course, anyone can change their opinion, but I believe he will be here next season. I don’t think he could find a better club than the one he is at now. We are in the Champions League, have won the FA Cup and we could possibly strengthen our squad even more over the summer.
“Everybody has the highest regard for him at City so why would he want to give that up?”