London: Roberto Mancini has denied that Manchester United is 15 points better than Manchester City.
Mancini urged his City players to put the record straight at Old Trafford as they prepare to bow out as champions.
City are 15 points behind and are in danger of producing the least convincing title defence since Blackburn`s disappointing effort back in 1995-96.
Yet Mancini insists the gap between his team and United is closer than the table suggests and aims to prove it with another famous derby win.
In fairness to Mancini, United have produced an exceptional season, in terms of results at least, with 25 wins from 30 matches so far and only 13 points dropped. That has turned the heat on City to keep pace and they have simply not managed it.
Yet when they turn it on like they did during a blistering half hour either side of the break, it is hard to believe they are so far adrift, the report said.
Depending on the result of today`s FA Cup quarter-final replay, there could even be two in six days to look forward to.
Mancini is focused on the next one and believes a win across town could help put a different slant on City`s season and their short-term future.
Apart from anything else, they still need wins to see off a trio of London clubs and cement their runners-up spot.