Roberto Mancini believes there is life in the Premier League title race if his Manchester City strikers can fire as they did in Sunday's FA Cup cruise over Leeds.
City rarely had to leave second gear to beat their lacklustre Championship opponents 4-0, with Sergio Aguero's double complemented by goals from Yaya Toure and Carlos Tevez.
He said: "I hope Sergio will be like this from now until the end, because if Sergio is like this, and our strikers continue to score a lot of goals from now until the end, I think the championship is not finished."
A walk in the park against a Leeds side was just the tonic City needed after their Southampton horror show last week. A 3-1 defeat left them 12 points behind Manchester United in their bid to retain their title and many consider it to be a foregone conclusion that the trophy will be back at Old Trafford come May.
But after watching Aguero score twice to take his tally of goals in a stop-start season to 13, the Italian added: "This is possible but I think it should be confident, always. If we are 12 points behind - we lost seven points in three games. This can happen for every team. We play a lot of games."
Having failed to claim a league point since their fourth-round win over Tottenham three weeks ago, this was another dismal day out for Leeds who currently find themselves the subject of a second confusing takeover bid of the season.
Manager Neil Warnock is coming under increasing pressure from the fans to quit having failed to mastermind a promotion challenge. His contract is up at the end of the season and he has told owners GFH Capital he will not be staying on next season, while on Sunday he claimed he would leave earlier if he was asked.
"I don't deserve that (abuse) after the year I have had, but I am unlucky to have been at three clubs with three takeovers," he said, referencing previous spells with Crystal Palace and QPR. "If we go up, the owners know I won't be here and the further away we get (from promotion) the club will be looking to see what they're going to do and, if I can, I will help them.
"I'm living away from home for one last year at promotion. I'm sure the club will be sensible and in a couple of years they will be back in the big time.
"It's their prerogative (if they want to sack him), if they think it will help, I'm not against it. Whatever is best for Leeds United. But with what's gone on over the last 12 months I think I deserve a medal."