Mancini enjoying good Kompany
The 25-year-old has emerged as one of City's top performers this term, bringing much-needed stability to the Blues back four during a season when they finally ended their 35-year wait for a trophy. With the future of Carlos Tevez uncertain and Kolo Toure still waiting for his hearing into a failed drugs test to take place, Kompany is viewed by many as City's captain-elect. Certainly, the Belgian has showed great maturity this year, with far more expected next term, when he gets a chance to test himself against the greatest attacking players on the planet in the Champions League. And Mancini is confident Kompany will pass the test. "Vincent can become number one in the world," said the City boss. "He has always played at a high level. When he was at Anderlecht and I was at Inter, I wanted to buy him. "He was a good player then. He has improved a lot and now is one of the top defenders in Europe. But he can improve even more." Had Mancini managed to lure Kompany away from his homeland to Italy, it is quite possible he would never have ended up at City. The Eastlands outfit can thank their good fortune for that. Kompany sets the standards with his professionalism on the training ground, as well as being able to implement the philosophy Mancini holds so dear. "If we have good defenders and improve the way we defend, it will be easier for us," he said. "Vincent is incredible. He has a fantastic mentality. His attitude has been excellent. Without doubt he has been one of our top players this year." Although the true excitement of 'Survival Sunday' is going on elsewhere, City's short trip to Bolton is hardly meaningless. Victory will ensure Mancini's men finish in third spot, the first time they have been so high since they were runners-up to Liverpool in 1977. Far more importantly, it would mean they qualify automatically into the group stage of the Champions League rather than find themselves in a qualifier. Just two European campaigns in the last five years mean that almost certainly, City would not be seeded, and the presence of Bayern Munich and Villarreal already amongst the teams who will be emphasises why a win at the Reebok is so keenly demanded. "This game is very important," said Mancini. "If we can do a normal pre-season and can prepare properly before the Community Shield and start of the Premier League, everything is fine. "But if we also have qualifying games, it is different for us." Not that it will be easy for the Blues, who have not won on their last five Premier League visits to the Reebok Stadium. And, as Mancini accepts, failure would be a minor blip in what has otherwise been an outstanding campaign. "We should be really proud because we have had a fantastic season," he said. "We have always been at a good level, always between first and fourth. "We did have some difficulties when we went out of the Europa League because we played a lot of games for two months. We had a lot of injuries and those who were available were really tired. "But we came through that. We achieved our objective of the Champions League and won a trophy after so many years. "Now it is nearly over and we want to win to finish the season in the right way."