A short-tempered Roberto Mancini has shunned suggestions his Manchester City side are in danger of being caught by in-form Tottenham Hotspurs.
City beat Aston Villa last night to once again move within 12 points of Premier League leaders Manchester United and five clear of third-placed Spurs.
And the Italian boss refused to listen to the idea his side ought to be looking over their shoulder, rather than keeping an eye on the title.
“We are not looking behind us,” Mancini said. “We only want to look at first place.
“It will be difficult to catch United, but this is football and anything can happen.
“I think we need to win all 10 matches we have left and see what happens, but that will be difficult.”
Tottenham saw off North London rivals Arsenal on Sunday to move seven points ahead of the Gunners and within touching distance of City.
But, despite the Premier League champions’ title-chasing task growing harder with each United win, Mancini is still confident City can produce another dramatic comeback.
As for City’s Monday night opponents, the 48-year-old backed lowly Aston Villa to beat the drop this season.
Paul Lambert’s side have struggled this term, but Mancini believes the young side can avoid relegation and go on to better things next year.
“I believe Villa are a good team and they will stay up,” he said. “They have young players and, if they can stay up, next year they can have a good season.
“With a young team, you can have a problem. But I like Benteke, I like N’Zogbia and I like Weimann.”
City host Championship side Barnsley on Saturday in an FA Cup quarter-final, before facing a tricky trip to Everton the following weekend.
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