Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini does not feel his side are under any extra pressure to deliver in the FA Cup. The competition offers City their only realistic hope of tangible reward for their season's efforts after failures in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.
City's title defence appears over and they were bundled out of Europe before Christmas - twin disappointments in the competitions that provided their chief targets for the campaign. That has shifted expectation onto the FA Cup but Mancini, whose own position is the subject of regular speculation, does not feel additionally burdened ahead of the semi-final against Chelsea.
The Italian said: "No, I think we have the same pressure that Chelsea have, or every team that plays in the semi-finals. I think it is important we have the same concentration we had against (Manchester) United and we play the same as for the last two-three weeks.
"If we deserve to win we will win. If Chelsea are better they will win. This is normal in football. It is important we have a good attitude for this game."
But Mancini does not doubt the importance of the game at Wembley or of winning another trophy. The club ended a 35-year barren run by winning the cup two years ago and, after last season's title success, they are hungry for more silverware.
"It is important for me, for the players and the club because it is another semi-final," he said. "I think it is very important and we have a chance to go into the final, to get another trophy. For this reason it is very important."
Mancini will give playmaker David Silva as long as possible to prove his fitness for the contest. The Spaniard was rated highly doubtful immediately after suffering a hamstring injury against Manchester United on Monday but has improved since and has not yet been ruled out.
"We will decide, I think, on Sunday morning," he said. "We don't know if it is possible and if there is a risk he will not play, but he is getting better."
Striker Sergio Aguero, who came off the bench to score a superb winner at Old Trafford, is not yet a definite starter as the club manage his return from a knee injury.
"I don't think he is fit 100 per cent," Mancini said. "If he was he would have played the whole game against United. But now he is getting better and his knee is okay. It could be that he starts."
Mancini expects midfielder Gareth Barry's future to be determined before the end of the season. The 32-year-old England international will enter the final year of his contract in the summer.
"I think we have three or four players in this situation," Mancini said. "We will decide this in the next month but these players are important players for us. I am very happy with Gareth because Gareth is a good guy and a serious professional player."