Saturday 10 December 2011
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes January could be the pivotal month in his side's bid to win their first Barclays Premier League title.
City are clear at the top of the table as the busy festive season approaches, but Mancini believes it is the new year which could determine the destination of the championship.
Midfielder Yaya Toure will be absent for up to a month due to his involvement with the African Cup of Nations, and Mancini says if they can emerge from Janaury unscathed, the title could be heading to the Etihad Stadium.
"If we are top after January, I think the title will be difficult to lose"
- Roberto Mancini
"We are probably going to lose an important man for a month at a crucial moment," said the Italian."Yaya is an important player for us - we don't have any other players like him.
"I've said before that the next two months will be crucial. So if we do well in January, and are top after January, I think the title will be difficult to lose.
"We have done well so far, but the season is long. Now we have two difficult matches against Chelsea and Arsenal and it will be important to finish the season well.
"The Premier League is our priority, but we also have the FA Cup, the Carling Cup and the Europa League and I think we should be trying to win two trophies this season.
"If we are lucky and don't have a lot of injuries, we have a squad that can play and compete in every competition."