FanZone's Tom Wilkins feels Manchester City must ensure they finish the season strongly - to keep morale high for this summer and beyond.
What any City fan who saw the game can surely agree is that Manchester City did not play well against Wigan on Wednesday night.
An understandable lethargy permeated the performance, and until Carlos' Tevez' superb winner City were often second best.
But one thing is for certain - this victory represented a crucial win for Manchester City, and for a number of reasons.
Firstly, it meant another three points on the board in the Premier League. With the title all but gone, it would be easy for the players to go through the motions and drop silly points when second place is anything but assured. These three points achieve the double effect of maintaining some distance to third place, while at the same time keeping a modicum of pressure on Manchester United. While a United collapse now is highly unlikely, dropping points against Wigan would certainly not have helped our chances.
Secondly, a strong finish in the Premier League is absolutely vital in keeping up morale at the club and affecting how we start the next campaign. A good run at the end of this season will help to remind the rest of the Premier League of what we can do at our best - something that has often been lacking this year. Furthermore, a lacklustre capitulation would merely fuel newspaper speculation about the management and transfers into and out of the club - spreading negativity throughout.
If players can hit form at this point of the season, confidence will be sky high going into next. The likes of Yaya Toure, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany are playing somewhere near back to their best, while Gareth Barry is looking more like the league winner of last season. Although clearly not match fit, the return of Micah Richards is another positive note which Mancini was somewhat harshly quick to quash in his post-match comments.
City undoubtedly looked tired on Wednesday night, and understandably so at the end of a long season. Huge games against Manchester United and Chelsea were always likely to empty the tank, and as such the Wigan game was never going to produce the cricket score so many had hoped for. Credit must also be heaped upon the visitors for playing their own way, rather than parking the bus like so many teams have done at the Etihad.
However, Wigan's performance on Wednesday will only make City's preparations for the FA Cup final all the more intense. No one will be underestimating Roberto Martinez' side at Wembley now, and as well as Wigan played, City fans will be hoping that we can't be as bad again. This Premier League tie will undoubtedly prove a timely reminder of the challenge still facing City in the quest for silverware this season, and Mancini will have learnt a thing or two about both sets of players.
Until the title is mathematically impossible, City must fight tooth and nail for every point. And then, the players must try to play their way into the FA Cup final side and the team for next year.
There is plenty left to play for - now is not the time to take the foot off the gas.
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