MANCHESTER (AFP) – Roberto Mancini has set his Manchester City side a target of 10 more victories to secure a first league title in 44 years.
City moved five points clear at the top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Bolton, hours before Manchester United travel to Tottenham on Sunday.
City host United in the third last game of the season and after their trip to White Hart Lane, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side face West Brom, Wolves, Fulham, Blackburn, QPR, Wigan, Aston Villa and Everton.
City will come up against Swansea, Chelsea, Stoke, Sunderland, Arsenal, West Brom, Norwich and Wolves before that potentially-decisive game.
Going into the weekend, Mancini claimed that United will pick up 11 wins and that all that City have to do is match that.
After the victory over Bolton, he said: “This was important because we have taken three points and we need to keep winning because Manchester United is a very good team.
“If we could win the next ten games, we would win the title. We just need to keep playing the way we are and we will have a very good chance.”
Mancini used a second string side against relegation-threatened Bolton, sticking with Mario Balotelli despite the prospect of the Italian receiving a fine of two weeks wages for a trip to a Liverpool strip club in the early hours of Friday morning.
David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Aleksander Kolarov were among those left on the bench and Mancini is happy with the way his squad is shaping up despite Pablo Zabaleta limping off with a hamstring injury, a problem that is also bothering Micah Richards.
He added: “We rested one or two players and I left Silva, Aguero, Kolarov because we had everybody fit except Micah, who was injured.
“Pablo Zabaleta had a problem and had to come off as well so now we have two injured right-backs which is a problem, but we will see how things go next week.”
City coasted to an 18th consecutive Premier League home win thanks to a Gretar Steinsson own-goal and Balotelli’s second half effort at the Etihad Stadium.
Bolton are two points from safety but have a run of games against teams that are around them.
In March they come up against QPR, Aston Villa, Blackburn, Wolves and Fulham and have the chance to pull away from trouble.
Manager Owen Coyle said: “We have to take the positives and move into the final 11 games of the season.
“We have six at home and five away and there are points to be achieved from every single one of those matches.
“We have come through a tough set of fixtures and we now have to make sure that we go and win the points to climb the table and that starts next Saturday against QPR at the Reebok Stadium.”