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Mancini focused on Spurs, not job

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Mancini ready for Tottenham showdown

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini brushed aside questions over his future as he urged his side to be "strong" for Wednesday's "final" against Tottenham.

That fixture could effectively prove a play-off for fourth spot, currently occupied by Spurs, a point above City.

"Everyone asks me this but I don't know," said the 45-year-old Mancini, referring to his future at Eastlands.

"It's not important for me, it's important the squad win the next game and get fourth," added Mancini.

The Italian, who has said he wants to stay at City "200%", took over from Mark Hughes in December on a three-and-a-half year contract.

But his future at City has come under constant speculation, which is likely to intensify if the club fail to qualify for the Champions League.

606: DEBATE
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Hughes was ditched by the club's owners and board as they believed City's Champions League qualification campaign had stalled.

"The race for fourth is not done yet," said Mancini. "Wednesday is a final. It will probably be City's most important game in 10 years. We must beat Spurs.

"We must concentrate like we did against Aston Villa," added the Italian. "It is important we put on a performance. If the Villa match was a semi-final, then Wednesday is a final."

Tottenham beat Bolton 1-0 on Saturday to retain their slender point advantage over City, who came from a goal down to defeat Aston Villa 3-1 and end their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.

Redknapp sets sights on Man City

Spurs can get away with a draw at Eastlands in midweek, provided they win away at relegated Burnley on the final day of the season, to keep hold of their first top-four finish in 20 years. City's last game of the seaon is away at West Ham.

"The City game is absolutely massive," said Spurs boss Harry Redknapp referring to Wesnesday's match. "City are a terrific side, in good form, and we must go there, in front of a bumper crowd, and try to get something out of it.

"But this is what playing at this level is all about. As a manager, and as players, you want to be involved in big games - and this is one of those, no doubt."

What is clear, however, is that the race for fourth is now a three-horse race, with Liverpool - who host Chelsea on Sunday - just about still in with a chance but Villa out of it.

O'Neill rues two-minutes of madness

Villa's defeat at Eastlands means the highest they can finish is fifth.

"It has been a fantastic effort by the team all year and we took the fight to the second last game of the season," said Villa manager Martin O'Neill.

"We have more points than last season, when we had 62 and finished sixth. Teams are getting stronger and we are competing with sides who have very good players.

"It has been a great season and I do not accept that we have come up short. We reached the carling Cup final and the semi-final of the FA Cup.

"Overall, the season has been terrific."



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see also
Saturday's football photos
01 May 10 |  Premier League
Saturday football as it happened
01 May 10 |  Football
Tottenham 1-0 Bolton
01 May 10 |  Premier League
Mancini craves long Man City stay
01 May 10 |  Premier League
Manchester City 3-1 Aston Villa
01 May 10 |  Premier League
Man City ditch Hughes for Mancini
19 Dec 09 |  Man City


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