No fear factor for Toure
Kolo Toure has urged Man City to relax ahead of one of the most important weeks in the club's history.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 30/04/10 3:58pm
Kolo Toure has urged Manchester City to relax as they prepare for one of the most important weeks in the club's history.
The Blues face home games against Aston Villa (Saturday) and Tottenham (Wednesday), who are all competing for the final UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.
City then visit West Ham on the final day looking to book a place in Europe's elite competition for only the second time in their history having played just one two-legged tie in 1968, losing 2-1 on aggregate to Fenerbahce.
But defender Toure insists there should be no fear factor at Eastlands as the ambitious Blues aim to take the next step towards breaking up England's 'big four'.
"You know how the best way to cope with pressure like this? Just relax and enjoy the moment," he told the club's official website.
Smile and be happy
"Football is such a wonderful job that you need to enjoy every minute and if there is pressure on you, just go out with a smile and be happy because I believe that will allow you to play your normal game and deliver the goods.
"It is not every season that you have the opportunity to challenge for Champions League football.
"We are in a fantastic position and it's up to us how we deal with it. Ultimately, it comes down to how much we really want to finish fourth."
City were leading the race for fourth place after a run of just one defeat in 10, only to surrender the initiative to Tottenham with a late defeat by derby rivals Manchester United and a goalless draw at Arsenal last week.
The Blues are now sixth, one point behind Spurs and Villa, with Liverpool having an outside chance of securing a seventh straight appearance in the Champions League.
Toure, 29, has qualified for the competition several times with Arsenal, losing the 2006 final to Barcelona, and he is determined to see through the City mission.
"I have been in this kind of situation many times during my career so the task ahead doesn't faze me in the slightest," he said.
"It has been a fascinating season and it is great for football that four clubs are challenging for one position going into the last fortnight of the campaign. We just need to make sure it's us who are smiling on the final day.
"It proves the Premier League is the best in the world and personally, there's nothing more I love than a challenge because it brings out the best in me."