David Moyes has denied last weekend's shattering defeat by Wigan will play any part in whether or not he signs a new contract at Everton.
The Scot celebrated 11 years in charge at Goodison Park on Thursday but it has been one of the more difficult weeks of his tenure following the 3-0 home loss to the Latics in the FA Cup quarter-finals.
Moyes' contract runs out at the end of the campaign and earlier this season he indicated the Toffees' fortunes in the remaining games would play a big part in his decision.
With Everton out of the cup and facing a real battle to qualify for Europe, the speculation has grown that Moyes may opt for pastures new.
But the 49-year-old said: ``It doesn't alter anything. The decision at the end of the season will be made by me and the players and how well we all do together, how high we finish in the league. It's never changed.
``I want the players to do well. You can see the way they've spoken this week, they're saying they're ambitious to finish as high up as they can, qualify for Europe if they can - well that's the same as the manager and that's what we're going to try to work towards.''
Everton's fans vented their frustration at missing out on possibly two trips to Wembley, booing their side off at half-time and full-time.
The hostility was unusual but Moyes attributed it to expectations heightened by the impressive form his side have been in for much of this season.
He said: ``I think the expectations have risen even higher. The team's performances this season have been the best football we've played in my time.
``The quality of the players, the style they've played in, the way we've gone about our job has rightly so put Everton at a level where the expectancy was that Everton have got a chance of top four, Everton have got a chance of winning one of the cups.
``When that doesn't happen then it's a big shock, but it was a big shock to us as well, we didn't expect it.''
A section of fans focused their ire on midfielder Marouane Fellaini, who was jeered when he was substituted in the second half and then appeared to become involved in an altercation with supporters as he left the pitch and walked straight down the tunnel.
Moyes played down the incident, saying: ``I didn't really notice any reaction at all. I think Marouane knew on the day his performance wasn't as good as it should have been. He's been great this season but on the day it just wasn't one of his best.''
A visit from reigning Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City has the potential for another difficult day for Moyes but Everton's record against Roberto Mancini's side is impressive.
In seven previous games between the two managers, Mancini has picked up only four points, and none at Goodison Park.
Everton will again be without goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Phil Jagielka.
Howard broke two bones in his back in the FA Cup fifth-round replay at Oldham last month and Jan Mucha will continue to deputise, while Jagielka is recovering from surgery to repair a cut to his ankle.
Moyes will assess a couple of other players who picked up knocks in the defeat by Wigan last weekend while full-back Tony Hibbert (calf) may not play again this season.
Champions Manchester City are again without captain Vincent Kompany and striker Sergio Aguero.
Defender Kompany, who has missed the last seven games, continues to be troubled by calf issues while Aguero is in Argentina for treatment on the knee problem that has already sidelined him for two matches.
Right-backs Micah Richards and Maicon (both knee) and midfielder Jack Rodwell (hamstring) remain on the long-term casualty list.
City will get the chance to apply some pressure to neighbours Manchester United as they are the first in action this weekend.
But Mancini accepts keeping City's end of the bargain will be tough enough with his side having a poor recent record against the Toffees.
City have lost five of their last seven against the Merseysiders and they played out a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium in December.
Mancini said: ``Every game against Everton is very hard.
``It is difficult because Everton are a top team, they play always 100 per cent.
``They are strong, they have good players and a good manager.
``They always play well against top clubs.
``If you want to beat Everton, you should be ready to fight in every position.
``They work hard as a team. For every team it is difficult against them.
``For us this game will be important.''