Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini is refusing to accept defeat in the Premier League title race, insisting his side can still retain their trophy.
The champions slipped nine points behind leaders Manchester United with 13 games left on Sunday, after a 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
But Mancini insists City, who came from behind to snatch the title from United last year, can reel in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side once more.
“This championship is not over, absolutely not,” he said. “There is still time for a team to make a mistake.
“We probably now need to win all of our 13 games, but if not 11 or 12. This is football and it can happen. Last year we recovered eight points in the last six games.
“It is not finished. We have 13 games left and Manchester United have to play in the league, FA Cup and Champions League.
“The season is long, we have three months to go and we are confident.”
However, Joe Hart does not share his manager’s enthusiasm and the growing gap is a concern for the City and England goalkeeper.
Hart, who was beaten by two spectacular strikes on Sunday, is wary of allowing the Citizens’ rivals to get too far ahead at this stage.
“Unfortunately it’s a big gap and it’s getting too big for our liking but we’ve got to move forward,” he told talkSPORT.
“We’ve put ourselves in a worse position than we would like to be but we know we’ll always be there.”
City face a trip to Southampton next weekend, before an FA Cup fifth round tie with Leeds United and a key clash with Chelsea at the end of the month.
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