/ Soccer

Mancini claims City are not nervous

Updated: Sunday, 29 Apr 2012 13:23

Roberto Mancini's side take on Manchester United in a match that will play a massive part in deciding the destiny of the Premier League title
Roberto Mancini's side take on Manchester United in a match that will play a massive part in deciding the destiny of the Premier League title

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini claims there have been no nerves in the build-up to tomorrow's crunch derby against Manchester United.

.The Italian said: "It is impossible to be worried for Monday yet. It is football, not work.

"Maybe Monday morning there will be pressure, but this is normal for us or for United. But not now, I don't think this."

Mancini first wrote off his side's title prospects after a damaging defeat at Arsenal three weeks ago left them trailing by eight points.

He has maintained that stance since, despite seeing his side cut the gap with impressive successive wins over West Brom, Norwich and Wolves, while United have faltered against Wigan and Everton.

With a testing trip to Newcastle and a home clash with struggling QPR still to come, Mancini says his side have the harder run-in as United play Swansea and Sunderland.

Mancini said: "Now we have this small chance but I think it is important that after Arsenal we just continue to play football.

"We have only one chance because they lost a point against Everton, but I think it will be difficult.

"They have one difficult game against us, then they have two easy games. They will probably get six points.

"It is clear if we have a chance - we want to take that chance - but I don't know."

Regardless of whether City succeed, Mancini remains proud of his side's efforts having seen them accumulate their best Premier League points tally.

City have not won a league title since 1968 and for a club that was in the third tier 13 years ago - while United were winning the Champions League - he feels considerable progress has been made.

He said: "For us, I repeat, we should be proud for our season.

"We have 22 points more than Chelsea, who went to the final of the Champions League.

"We have 14 points more than Arsenal, 31 more than Liverpool and they are another top team. We should be pleased for this.

"It is important we are here and at the end of the season we are playing for the title.

"United are in a better position than us but it is important to be here.

"In the last two years we have improved a lot as a club, as a team, and this is important.

"In one game anything can happen - you can lose or win - but it doesn't change anything.

"It is important we improve from the last championship."

Despite his protestations about United retaining the upper hand, Mancini insists his side will fight to the end after giving everything in tomorrow's encounter.

He said: "I wait always until the end of the championship.

"We lost seven points in four games, this can happen - so also for the other team.

"When you play a difficult game at the end of the season you should be tired and you can lose a point anywhere.

"Sometimes you can lose the title in the last game or the last minute.

"But when you arrive in a final of the Champions League, Europa League or a game like this, and you play against United, you can lose.

"This is football, because you don't play against a small team."