• Premier League

Mancini admits United 'wanted' title more than City

ESPN staff
April 22, 2013

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has admitted he is in danger of being shown the exit door at the club at the end of the season.

Reigning champions City have failed to build a defence of their title this season, remaining 13 points behind league leaders Manchester United after succumbing 3-1 to Tottenham.

The defeat to Spurs also handed United the perfect chance to steal the Premier League crown from their arch-rivals, as victory over Aston Villa on Monday would secure the Red Devils their 20th league title.

And with City again failing in Europe, Mancini recognises that victory in the FA Cup final may be the only shining light that saves him from being axed from the top job at the Etihad.

"I'm not happy because I like to win the championship," Mancini told the Guardian. "This was our target. I'm not happy with the season because I want always the maximum.

"But we have another chance to win the FA Cup and I think the FA Cup is important. And we can be in second position.

"If that is not good enough, then every manager should be sacked."

Despite United being on the cusp of claiming league honours, Mancini believes there was hardly a difference in quality between the two sides, only a differing of attitudes forcing City to hand over the title to their bitterest of foes.

"We don't have a gap [to United]," Mancini said. "The last two or three years … every time we have played United, we have played better, also when we have lost the game.

"We lost in the last minute [earlier in the season]. Last year we beat them easily. The reason there is a gap like today [in the league] … probably there is more attitude, they wanted.

"They started the season and they wanted to win after last year. There are many reasons why we lose but I repeat, they deserve to win it."

And Mancini, assessing the season overall, confessed that at times, his side had handed the initiative to United.

However, Mancini refused to take anything away from the Red Devils' march to the title, admitting they would be crowned worthy champions.

"Sometimes we probably did [hand United the title]," Mancini said. "I think the 13- or 15-point gap is not reality for this championship.

"They are not a better team but they deserve to win this title because we lost a lot of points in games we probably didn't deserve to lose. United won a lot of games in a row with goals and they deserve to win the title.

"The race was finished three or four weeks ago. Will I watch the Villa game? If I am at home, why not? It will mean nothing to us.

"We wanted to win this championship. What can we do? We can maybe say only congratulations to them. When you win, you deserve to win it.

"You always need a bit of luck in football. It is like life. But they did not win by luck. They had a better attitude because they lost last year."

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