Manchester: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini insists his side still have work to do if they are to be crowned Premier League champions for the first time since 1968.
The Blues host QPR on Sunday knowing a win will almost definitely be enough to see them lift the Premier League trophy, due to their eight-goal goal difference superiority over rivals Manchester United. The clubs are level on points, with only one game remaining in the season.
However, despite the clear advantage over Sir Alex Ferguson’s side going into the last round of fixtures, Mancini is refusing to celebrate just yet, though he does concede there is a buzz around the camp ahead of the decisive clash.
“We have two fingers on the trophy, but it is not enough, because we still have one more game and it is a difficult one,” the Italian told reporters. “My feeling is good after the Newcastle result [2-0 win] and so is the feeling of the players. But we need to play the QPR game in the right mood.”
The QPR game is not only a significant one in the race for the title, with the west London club languishing perilously above the relegation zone.
The match will also see the return of former boss Mark Hughes to the Etihad Stadium, though Mancini says he is determined to keep his players focused on the task in hand and will not be allowing any distraction ahead of the final hurdle.
“We have managed to keep the players’ feet on the ground," said Mancini. “We did it before we played [Manchester] United. Then we did it last week before we played Newcastle. We won’t change anything. If we don’t keep our concentration and prepare well for the game, it will end up being very difficult.”
Ferguson has looked to turn up the heat on their local rivals in recent weeks, suggesting the Blues could do a 'Devon Loch' - the horse who famously fell just yards short of the finishing line when leading the 1956 Grand National. But Mancini has refused to engage in further mind games with the Scot and claims there is no pressure as his side knows exactly what they have to do to claim the league crown.
“We don’t have pressure,” he said. “Leading up to the Newcastle game, maybe we had some, but not now. We just need to play one game and we just need to play as we did [last] Sunday.”