Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has congratulated his players after they beat Tottenham 1-0 at Eastlands to confirm at least a top four finish, thus securing Champions League football for next season, before stressing the importance of their achievement in regards to his position at the club.
A Peter Crouch own goal was enough for victory and speaking after the game, the Italian praised his staff for their efforts throughout the season.
“I'm happy because this was our target,” Mancini told reporters.
“We worked well. It's important for a manager. It was important for my job to reach my target but first of all it's important for the supporters.
“They did a fantastic job and I think we deserved to qualify for the Champions League because we were between first and fourth all season.”
“When I arrived here I said Manchester City could become one of the top teams in Europe in two or three years,” he continued. “This is the first time but we got it because the players want to play in the Champions League. We have players who deserve to play in the Champions League.”
The visitors controlled long periods of play in the game, and the former Inter boss admitted that while the result will have no doubt delighted their supporters, the match was far from straightforward.
“Tonight the Manchester City supporters are very happy,” he added. “The manager and players did this for them because after many years Manchester City can play in the Champions League. This is very important.
“Tottenham have a good manager and fantastic players. It wasn't easy to win tonight.”
The result leaves City just two points behind Arsenal in third place, with two games still to play, and Mancini refused to rule out leap-frogging the Gunners in the table, but conceded that their weekend defeat to Everton may see his side fall short.
“I don't know how we lost against Everton,” he conceded. “Now, third will be difficult. We have two games but it's important to think about the cup final now.”