MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (REUTERS) - Manchester City coach Roberto Mancini has already conceded the title toManchester United after they opened a 15-point gap at the top of the table, but the Italian says the derby between the two clubs on Monday (April 8) still counts.
A year ago, City beat United 1-0 to take a huge stride towards the championship, but this time around the red half of Manchester enjoy a huge lead with just eight matches to play, and are cruising towards a 20th English league crown.
"Probably it is not important for the table, for the title race. A derby is always a derby, it is important for us, for them. There is pressure, always. It will be like the first. Every derby is important," Mancini told reporters on Friday (April 5) ahead of Monday's clash between the Manchester titans.
The City boss says his club do not deserve to be 15 points behind, and added that the lack of goals, plus injury to Sergio Aguero and the departure of Mario Balotelli, contributed to the downfall of the defending champions.
"The difference is that we score 20 goals less than last year. Only this is the difference. We scored less goals than last year because for the goals that we had conceded is the same," Mancini said.
"We have the best defence, we are missing only these goals. We had a lot of injuries, Sergio, we lost Mario that in the end scored 15 goals last year, this is the difference - the goals we did not score."
Mancini said he was pleased Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure has committed himself to the club for another five years.
"I am happy because Yaya for me is one of the best players in the world and we are happy that he plays for us and he stays here for another four years. It is very important for the club," he said.
Mancini also spoke about the appointment of his compatriot Palo di Canio, and said the controversial Italian deserved his chance at Sunderland despite recent criticism about his political views.
"I think you should leave him to do his job and finish it because I can say only one thing. He played in England for seven, eight years and never had this story. Why now?"