Mancini’s Champions League delight

His team has secured a Champions League place, but manager Roberto Mancini believes Manchester City must be content with fourth this season.The Blues ensured their place in at least the qualifying stages for next season’s Champions League courtesy of Spurs striker Peter Crouch’s own goal in the 29th minute, but are just two points adrift of third-placed Arsenal on the English Premier League table with two games remaining.

However, having given up all three points in last Saturday’s trip to Everton and with an even bigger assignment to come this weekend at Wembley against Stoke in the FA Cup final, Mancini is not too concerned about the chance to snatch third.

“If we didn’t throw three points out of the window against Everton last Saturday, we could probably finish third,” Mancini said.

“I don’t know how we lost this game. Now it is difficult. We have two games left but now it is very important to think about the FA Cup final.”

Having been set the target of finishing at least fourth in the league, Mancini was pleased for both himself and the club’s fans to have achieved the goal.

“When you have a target and get it, it is very important for your job,” he said.

“But I am happy for the supporters and the club first of all.”

“We deserve to be in the Champions League because we were between first and fourth position all season.”

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp lamented the absence of Welsh winger Gareth Bale through injury and revealed that a long campaign had caught up with Dutchman Rafael van der Vaart.

But he remains proud of the club’s achievements, despite failing to again finish top four.

“The biggest problems in this run where we have fallen out of the top four are that we lost Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart has suddenly become a bit jaded due to the World Cup and not having a pre-season,” said Redknapp, whose side are sixth with two games remaining.

“When they were in top form, we were killing teams off as well as playing good football.”

“Not too many teams play better than we do. That means a lot to me.”

“I enjoy watching us play. I would rather that than us play awful football and keep lumping the ball.”

“I want to enjoy the last few years I have got in football.”

Article title: Mancini’s Champions League delight

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