Mancini: Manchester City's derby against United just one more game

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has sought to play down the pressure surrounding Monday's crucial derby against Manchester United, suggesting that the clash with their cross-town rivals is "just another game".

This attitude is in stark contrast to that of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who has already labelled the game the most important derby match in history, and one that will decide the Premier League title race.

"The [6-1 win] was a fantastic derby. But it was a game that can only happen once every hundred years"

"The derby is always the game of the year," Mancini told reporters. "For the supporters, a derby is always a different game to the others. It is important for the city.

"Manchester has two top teams who are in a position to play this important game.

"But for us it will just be one more game, not because we fight for this or for that, and after it there are another two games, very tough games."

The Eastlands club trail their rivals by three points going into the game, and their superior goal difference means that a win would take them above United with just two games remaining.

City fans will have fond memories of their side's 6-1 demolition of United in October's derby game at Old Trafford, although the former Inter coach was quick to dismiss any notion of a repeat performance.

"The one at Old Trafford was a fantastic derby. But it was a game that can happen only once every hundred years," he insisted.

Mancini is hoping that Monday's task will be made easier by the availability of several key players returning through from injury and suspension, including the controversial Mario Balotelli.

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"If Yaya Toure is on form, he is a top player," Mancini continued. "But we need him to be 100 per cent and on Sunday he was so-so.

"We also need to check on Micah Richards to see how his hamstring is. Providing he has recovered, with Mario Balotelli back from suspension, we will have everyone."

Win or lose, Mancini feels that his side have made significant strides this season, and is pleased the team's performance this year.

"We are happy to be where we are," he concluded.


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