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Tevez: 'Fourth place can be City's if we play like we did against Chelsea'

Carlos Tevez believes it is imperative Manchester City maintain the level of performance which saw Chelsea demolished if a top-four place is to be achieved.

The Argentina striker scored a brace in the 4-2 victory at Stamford Bridge to take his tally for the season to 21.

Next up are Sunderland tomorrow and after two weeks' rest Tevez is anxious to get going again.

He said: "We've been playing very well and we've had some great results against the top sides.

"But with the so-called weaker teams we have not done so well, not necessarily because we have not played so well, but because the result has not gone our way.

"The thing now is for us to make sure we keep calling on the spirit that we showed at Chelsea and continue to play the way we are doing.

Tevez remains modest about his own impressive contribution since arriving from Manchester United in the summer.

He said: "Obviously it's important that I score goals, but I think it is more important for the group that the team plays well and continues to play well.

"As for working hard, if I don't score then I have to run after the ball and try to win it from the opposition. So that's a part of my game I have to concentrate on and try to do well."

Meanwhile Shaun-Wright Phillips has been told that negotiations over a new contract will remain on hold until the end of the season.

Manager Roberto Mancini made it clear to the England winger nothing must get in the way of the club's ambition to secure a Champions League slot.

The Italian boss also made it plain he would prefer the players go to him if they have issues, rather than the media.

Mancini said: "Shaun is an important player but we have time in the future to speak about his contract.

"Now it is important he plays well for the team in this game, the next game.

"It is vital the players play 100pc for the club because we have one important target."

Meanwhile, Sunderland boss Steve Bruce is hoping for more of the same from Steed Malbranque after seeing him give the perfect response to being dropped.

The Frenchman was left out of the squad for the 0-0 home draw with Fulham on February 28 following a breach of a club curfew.

But he returned on Tuesday to turn in arguably his best performance under Bruce, despite lining up on the left wing, as the Black Cats ended their 14-game wait for a Premier League win with a 4-0 demolition of Bolton.

He could be handed the same role against Manchester City tomorrow and his manager will be looking for a similar display.

Bruce said: "He has certainly had his best two games of the season playing there, and I thought he was our best player the other night."

SUNDERLAND v manchester city, live tomorrow, sky sp 1 (ko 4.0)