Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes his predecessor Mark Hughes deserves much of the credit if the club manage to clinch the final Champions League place.
City host Tottenham on Wednesday night in a crucial game in the race for fourth place on Wednesday night with the winners almost certain of fourth place in the Premier League.
Victory for Tottenham would guarantee the Champions League berth, while a City win would put them above fourth-placed Spurs with one game remaining.
Hughes was sacked in December when owner Sheikh Mansour feared that City would struggle to make the top four, but Mancini believes the former boss should receive half the credit.
“Mark Hughes worked here for the first five months of the season and worked very well,” he said.
“If we get fourth position he deserves 50 per cent of the credit because I think he worked well.
“I have worked for five months and he has worked for five months. The season has been split between us.”
It has been suggested Mancini will follow Hughes through the Eastlands exit door if City do not claim fourth place, even though the Italian has not met the club’s owner.
“It is not strange,” said Mancini.
“It is different in Italy because the owner is always at the training ground. You meet him every week.
“It is different but I think we have the time to meet him (Mansour) this summer.”
Mancini believes that the lure of the Champions League will allow them to attract even bigger players to Eastlands this summer.
“I know this is an important moment for the club,” said Mancini.
“We have worked for this. All the players have worked for this target.
“I have worked here for five months. I can build a good future here. We are trying to change the history of the club.
“There is no pressure,” he added. “It is a football match, not a war.
“If you are not happy where you work I don’t think you stay. I am happy because I want to build a good team here.
“Being in the Champions League would allow us to progress. It is important for the club and everyone here.
“The game will probably decide where we finish this season. If we win we have probably a 70-80 per cent of getting fourth.”