Given: Race for fourth wide open

BY foxsports • March 27, 2010

At various points over the past seven days, Liverpool, Manchester City and Aston Villa have been written off, whilst Everton's chances have been talked up following their midweek victory at Eastlands. There is little doubt Harry Redknapp's smile was the widest as City failed to make the most of their game in hand. But with almost two months of the campaign still to be played, Given does not feel any assessment is going to prove accurate. "The whole thing up there is going to keep changing because all the teams have tough games," the City keeper told www.mcfc.co.uk. "It is too early to say who is going to claim that fourth spot. "We are still in the thick of the mix and still fighting that's for sure - and I believe we have a great chance. "But the key thing for us is to get back to winning ways and get above Tottenham." It has not escaped Given's attention either that Spurs are the last visitors to City in a game that has been tantalisingly rearranged for May 5, four days before the Blues bring the curtain down on their campaign at West Ham. That knowledge explains why Given was not too depressed at the Everton loss, even though he admitted the pain felt in the immediate aftermath ensured rest did not come easily. "There was not much sleep on Wednesday," he said. "We wanted to win to get above Tottenham. "But we are still only three points behind them and they still have to play us so there is still a lot to look forward to." Manager Roberto Mancini might have more reason to lament the loss since he is now facing FA disciplinary action over his touchline fracas with David Moyes. On a happier note for the Italian, Emmanuel Adebayor returns from a four-match suspension against Wigan on Monday, when City bid to recover some lost ground. In theory, it should be a comfortable three points for City. But Given has been around too long to take anything for granted. "Wigan beat Aston Villa away from home right at the start of the season and Liverpool lost to them at the DW Stadium a couple of weeks ago so it is not going to be an easy game," he said. "But I prefer to think of it as being about what we do. "Although it would have been nice to play another match, straight away after Everton, having a match on Monday does give us a bit of recovery time at least. "Losing our unbeaten home record was a blow. But we can't afford to mope around. "We need to bounce back if we are going to secure fourth spot."


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