Roberto Mancini believes James Milner will play an important role in Manchester City's run-in.
The 25-year-old midfielder has not featured in the last two games after showing his annoyance at being substituted in the 3-0 defeat at Liverpool.
In his absence City defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final and defeated Blackburn in the Premier League last Monday.
But the City boss feels Milner will have a part to play as the club bid for a top-four finish and a place in the UEFA Champions League for the first time and have the FA Cup final to look forward to on 14th May.
"James is disappointed he has not played in the last two games, but I trust James," Mancini said. "He is an incredible midfielder.
"I think he can improve a lot, but for this we have time next year. Now we have another five games and the final and he will be an important player in this time."
Milner could make an appearance in the home match against West Ham on Sunday and Mancini is hopeful his side can keep Tottenham at arm's length in the race for fourth spot.
He said: "Every game is difficult. We have five league matches to go and need to be at our maximum in every one of them.
"We must take it step by step. Now we have West Ham and our focus will be only on that game.
"I saw them against Chelsea and for 45-60 minutes they played very well. We need to play very well. That is very important."