Vincent Kompany says it is vital Manchester City are on their game when they play their first match since being dethroned as champions.
City's reign as Barclays Premier League title-holders was officially ended as Manchester United reclaimed the crown by thrashing Aston Villa on Monday.
It was a fate City had long since been resigned to.
The title race was effectively ended as a contest when City lost to struggling Southampton in February and fell 12 points behind United.
Manager Roberto Mancini then conceded defeat after another damaging loss to Everton in March and there was no suggestion - unlike last year - that he believed his side could stage a remarkable fightback.
For City the task has long been about securing second place and ensuring silverware is won for a third successive season via the FA Cup.
City, who won the cup in 2011, play Wigan in the final at Wembley next month.
Ahead of Saturday's visit of West Ham to the Etihad, Kompany said: "Having tasted success, we obviously wanted to win the title again this year, but there are five or six clubs who started the season wanting to win the title as well and it's not always possible.
"But our season also depends on our result in the cup final and we shouldn't forget that.
"It's very important to us and if we get a good result, it can get us going again in a positive way for next season."
Last week's loss to Tottenham has left City with work still to do to ensure a runners-up finish.
It would still represent good progress as, last season apart, they have not finished as high as second since 1977.
City are waiting on playmaker David Silva, who has missed three games since suffering a hamstring injury in the closing stages of the derby win at Old Trafford earlier this month.
Striker Sergio Aguero and midfielder James Milner have also had hamstring problems.
Aguero was deemed fit enough for the bench at White Hart Lane but did not feature while Milner was forced off at half-time during the game against the Londoners.
Milner said: "I had a tight hamstring and as frustrating as it was to come off, I think it was the right decision.
"I'm hoping to get back into training and hopefully be fine for the weekend, which is obviously a positive."