Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has told his side not to allow automatic qualification for the Champions League slip from their grasp.City face Bolton on Sunday in their final game of the season safe in the knowledge that a victory will secure third place in the Premier League which means they will go straight into the Group stage of next season’s Champions League.
Should they slip down into fourth, City will face a potentially tricky tow-legged qualifier to ensure their place in the competition.
That is why Mancini insists his side will be focused for trip to the Reebok Stadium.
“It’s an important game because last week it was very difficult to get up into third position,” he said.
“But now it’s in our hands it’s important for us to focus on the game, it’s very important.”
“It’s a big thing to go straight to the groups or to have to qualify.”
“It’s very different. We wanted to try and win one cup this season, we have done that and it’s important to carry on this way.”
“I think we have had a fantastic season, our target was fourth and now we’re third. It’s a difficult game against Bolton and we have to prepare well.”
Speculation is also rife that Sunday’s clash could be striker Carlos Tevez’s last for the club.
The captain and top scorer has been linked with a move away from Eastlands and Tevez has now admitted that he wants a “change of scenery” during an interview on an Argentine radio station.
But Mancini was tight-lipped about the possibility of Tevez leaving.
“I don’t want to answer a question about Carlos,” he said.
“I think it’s better for us to focus on the next game which is very important for us.
After that we can focus on Carlos. I don’t think it will be his last game
“I have spoken with Italian journalists before and I have said one thing and another thing has been reported.”
“Mistranslation can happen. But we have many important players and we want them all to stay here.”
City have one injury doubt for the visit to Bolton with defender Jerome Boateng still suffering with a knee injury.