Roberto Mancini believes his job as Manchester City manager is safe regardless of whether the Premier League's big spenders reach their goal of a top four finish.
City's ambitious owners laid down a top-four spot as the target for this season, in addition to an end to the club's 35-year trophy drought. Although there have been a number of setbacks along the way, City remain on course to achieve both objectives.
Mancini's men head into the weekend fixtures in fourth, four points ahead of Tottenham, who have a game in hand and are still to visit Eastlands in what looks like a crucial encounter on May 10.
In addition, City have a mouth-watering FA Cup semi-final with Manchester United at Wembley on April 16 ahead of them. So, despite his enormous £150 million outlay on new players, Mancini feels his contract will be honoured.
"It is very important that we reach our targets but I don't know whether my future is dependent on me finishing in the top four,'' he said. "I don't think so. I have a three-year contract. In any case, we don't want to finish fourth. We want to finish third.''
That aspiration took a massive hit when City lost at Chelsea immediately before the international break. Since then they have lost defensive duo Jerome Boateng and Micah Richards to injury, leaving Mancini in a quandary about who to select at right back for Sunday's Eastlands showdown with Sunderland as normal choice, Pablo Zabaleta, is visiting his ill father in Argentina.
However, as City's Europa League exit to Dynamo Kiev leaves them to tackle only one game a week for the remainder of the season, Mancini views the current picture as being far healthier than the one his players were slogging through during the depths of winter.
"For two months we played every three days with 14 players,'' said Mancini. That is very hard for every team, not just us.''