Mancini spurs City

LONDON - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has challenged his players to make history in today's crucial showdown against Tottenham.

LONDON - Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has challenged his players to make history in today's crucial showdown against Tottenham.

Mancini's side know victory over Spurs at Eastlands will leave them one more win away from finishing fourth in the Premier League and qualifying for the Champions League for the first time.

City, who face West Ham in their final game of the season on Sunday, are fifth on the table - one place and one point behind Tottenham - and Mancini wants his team to seize the opportunity to help the club enjoy an historic achievement.

"I know this is an important moment for the club," Mancini said yesterday.

"We have worked for this. All the players have worked for this target."

Mancini's arrival at Eastlands was prompted by the decision to sack Mark Hughes for failing to keep up with City's points target to reach the Champions League.

The club's Abu Dhabi-based owners are desperate to make it into Europe's elite club competition and even though City still have a great chance to finish fourth, there has still been speculation linking Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho with Mancini's job.

But the Italian, who knows a Tottenham win would end City's challenge, is confident he will still be in Manchester next season, whatever the result today.

"My future does not come down to this game," he said.

"We have qualified for the Europa League next year, that is important. Now we have a chance to do more."

Former Inter Milan coach Mancini has plenty of respect for Tottenham and he expects a high-quality encounter between the sides.

Though Joleon Lescott has been ruled out of the run-in with a hamstring injury, City could have Gareth Barry available after the midfielder missed Saturday's victory over Aston Villa with a similar problem. - Sapa-AFP

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