Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes the pressure of needing to win every one of their remaining Premier League matches to finish ahead of Liverpool will boost their quadruple bid.
City, with the League Cup already in the bag, are chasing an unprecedented clean sweep, with the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup also in their sights.
They can return to the top of the table if they win their game in hand against struggling Cardiff on Wednesday.
City play an out-of-sorts Tottenham Hotspur in the Champions League quarter-finals next week and Brighton in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.
Liverpool, seeking their first English top-flight title since 1990, beat Spurs in a dramatic finish on Sunday to restore their two-point lead.
“For the semi-final and for the Champions League, being in the position in the Premier League where you know if you don’t win you are going to lose the Premier League, maybe that’s going to help us for the other competitions,” said Guardiola.
“If you are 10 points in front you can maybe be a little more selective.
“But now there’s no other option, we don’t have any other choice, so every game we have to win, if not you drop that competition.
“So that’s why sometimes to play with that pressure is nice, it’s necessary to get the best out of ourselves.”
Guardiola is bidding to add a second Premier League title to go with the three he won in Germany and three in Spain with Bayern Munich and Barcelona.
He said the performance of the players in the routine 2-0 win over relegation-threatened Fulham on Saturday suggested they are in the right place mentally.
“There’s no complaints about our mentality, what happened last season and this season again,” said Guardiola. “The players are not stupid, about the fact we’re trying something so difficult to achieve.
“The way we started to play against Fulham, they show me we want to do it.
“What’s next is Cardiff, so we’ll prepare well, and go like a machine to win, to play, and try to win. Mentally the players are ready.”
© Agence France-Presse