Mancini eyes 10 straight wins
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says his side must win all of their remaining games if they are to retain the Premier League title.
Carlos Tevez's first-half goal gave the champions a 1-0 win at Aston Villa on Monday, closing the gap to leaders Manchester United back down to 12 points.
But Italian Mancini admits that it would take a perfect run-in to win a second triumph in as many years.
"We need to win all 10 matches," Mancini told reporters after the game.
He said to Sky Sports
: "It was really important to win this game. For us it was important to stay 12 points behind United, because with 10 games (left) you never say never. The championship is not finished.
"We had a few games like QPR, West Ham and Chelsea away where we deserved to win but missed two or three chances to score but sometimes it's enough to win 1-0 like tonight, to fight for every ball, because now the result is very important."
Mancini also offered updates on injuries, revealing that Jack Rodwell is likely to be out for around four weeks after limping off Villa Park with a hamstring injury.
City will try to make sure that Sergio Aguero, whose knee injury prevented him from featuring against Villa, is fit for their clash with Everton on March 16.
"We are very sorry for Jack, he is unlucky," Mancini lamented. "It's a hamstring injury. Maybe after the international break (he will be back).
"He's a good player. He's young and needs to improve but he played very well against Chelsea and was playing well tonight.
"Aguero fell on his knee early on in training yesterday. If possible we want him to play against Everton."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was left to rue a costly error from defender Ciaran Clark that led to the only goal of the match on Monday.
The Republic of Ireland international was caught in possession by Edin Dzeko first-half stoppage time, before the City striker laid off for Tevez to slot past Brad Guzan.
Lambert rued the timing of the goal, which came after Villa had tested the reigning champions with a gritty opening-half display.
"I thought we were well in the game. The goal is a mistake," Lambert said.
"I wouldn't have minded if someone had put one in the top corner with a bit of skill.
"But it's a mistake by us. It is easy to be critical of Ciaran. The lad has been excellent all season. He will learn from it, he won't make the same mistake again."
Villa look ahead to games against Reading and QPR in the next fortnight, sides they share the relegation places with.
Lambert is under no illusions about the importance of the fixtures and is hoping for a repeat of Monday's determined display.
"The next two games are massive for us," he said. "If we play like that, we will give teams a fright, that's for sure."