Manchester City assistant manager David Platt insists the club can still fire themselves into the Carling Cup final despite the potential loss of Mario Balotelli.
The Blues face a daunting trip to Anfield for the second leg of their semi-final against Liverpool on Wednesday night without the striker if they accept a four-match ban for violent conduct.
The Italy international was charged by the Football Association on Monday following an apparent stamp on Tottenham's Scott Parker during the thrilling Premier League home win at the weekend.
City are also without the services of captain Vincent Kompany through suspension as well as midfielder Yaya Toure and his brother Kolo who are on Africa Cup of Nations duty.
But Platt is adamant that the club can cope with the loss of their star players as they look to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg.
"There are players who are available to play in the next games that we feel confident can continue what we have done so far this season," he said.
"We could be without a player because of injury - we are without players because of suspension. That is what we have a squad for."
Platt expects Liverpool to come out firing following their surprise weekend defeat at Bolton and is fully aware that City will be under severe pressure in what's expected to be a red hot atmosphere at Anfield.
Platt said: "Kenny is talking about the manner of that result, so we expect a reaction from that.
"Conversely, they have their noses in front and the onus is on us to do something about it.
"It is a difficult task, Liverpool are a very good team. They have not conceded many goals.
"They copped for three against us (in the league) and against Bolton at the weekend.
"Before that, they hadn't conceded many goals.
"We understand the difficulty of going to Anfield and getting any kind of result.
"The size of the game - there is no second bite of the cherry, we have to win. We get nothing for a draw.
"But we feel confident we can turn the tie around.
"We are not going there as lambs to the slaughter, or thinking we are already out, but it is going to be tough."