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Man city must make inroads quickly: Mancini

Manchester City must reduce the 12-point deficit at the top of the Premier League before the upcoming Manchester derby to have any hope of keeping their title, Roberto Mancini said on Friday. The City manager currently trails Alex Ferguson and Manchester United ahead of City’s weekend visit to Everton and the leaders’ home game with struggling Reading. The all-important derby at Old Trafford is looming on Monday, April 8 -- a fixture that looked likely at one stage to decide the outcome of this season’s championship race. But City’s collapse at the start of the year, in which a five-point disadvantage quickly grew to a dozen, means that, even with seven fixtures remaining after the derby, Mancini’s only hope lies in United dropping points in their next two fixtures. ‘We hope that happens,’ he said. ‘But United are playing at home against Reading and then play Sunderland. ‘We hope maybe we can play the derby nine points, seven points, even 10 points behind. Less than 12 would be better because from the derby to the end of the season, they have three or four difficult games.’


SERIAL WINNERS UNITED WON’T FALTER: YOUNG

Manchester United winger Ashley Young has warned title rivals Manchester City there is no chance his team of serial winners will falter with the Premier League crown within touching distance. Young and his United team-mates return to league action against managerless Reading at Old Trafford on Saturday determined to get back on track after a pair of frustrating setbacks. ‘When you move to a club like United, you look at the trophy cabinet and what they have won,’ Young said. ‘In the dressing room everybody is a born winner. The manager gives you that belief to win every game and win trophies. ‘At a club like Manchester United winning is a habit. You go into every game wanting to win and there is a disappointment when you don’t do it.   
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