De Jong reveals celebrations

With a rematch against Stoke coming just four days after Wembley

and an automatic place in the Champions League at stake, Mancini

would have been forgiven for refusing his players permission to

toast the end of City’s 35-year wait for a trophy. Instead, Mancini

let them off their leash, trusting their in-built professionalism

to stop them going too far. The result was another convincing win

which means victory at Bolton on Sunday will guarantee a place

straight into the Champions League group phase. “There was no

alcohol ban,” said De Jong. “That would be kind of difficult with

some of the lads in this team. “We celebrated with each other on

Saturday and to be honest continued it on Sunday. They were kind of

a heavy two days. “But everyone here is professional enough to know

what their limits are and that we also have something left to play

for.” It looks like City fans will have to sweat beyond the weekend

before they know whether Carlos Tevez is ready to commit his future

to Eastlands. Mancini caught most observers on the hop on Tuesday

when he claimed that, following almost three weeks of talks, Tevez

had told him he wished to remain with City. It directly

contradicted Tevez’s own words, delivered at Wembley on Saturday,

when he said his future remained uncertain. And, despite Mancini’s

comments, that is thought to remain the case, with the South

American wrestling over the dilemma of how to spend more time with

his children, who are still based in Argentina. It could be viewed

as a neat game of politics on Mancini’s part, ensuring any

responsibility for a departure to Spain or Italy is heaped on

Tevez’s shoulders despite his hero status amongst the City

supporters. The situation is not helped by the frosty relationship

that exists between Tevez’s trusted advisor Kia Joorabchian and

City chief executive Garry Cook. However, once all the emotion is

taken out of the situation, Mancini will be acutely aware of how

important Tevez is to his squad. Not that Mancini can be viewed as

a pushover in any mental battle. Under siege at times this season,

the Italian has delivered both the Champions League spot that was

demanded by owner Sheikh Mansour and an end to that lengthy trophy

drought. “Mancini is a really strong man,” veteran midfield Patrick

Vieira told Key103. “Even when people criticised him, he kept doing

things his way. “He has done an excellent job and has shown

everyone how good he is as a manager.”