The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

23/04/2012 08:00

Papers: Rival backs Reds

Dave Armitage writes in the Daily Star...

Mancini: Put your money on United
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini saw his side claw their way back into the title race, then insisted: Put your money on United. City closed to within three points of Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United thanks to their win at Wolves and United's slip-up against Everton. Leaders United travel to the Etihad Stadium a week today, where victory for Mancini's men would put them back in the driving seat. But despite that, the Italian reckons the title remains an impossible dream. “I don't bet, I don't like it, but maybe you can put your money on Manchester United, 100 per cent,” said Mancini, while insisting he is not playing mind games. “Only one team can win this title. We have three points less and after the derby game we play Newcastle, who are fighting for the Champions League, and QPR, who are fighting relegation. I don’t think United are under pressure because they are used to this every year. For us it is different – it’s our first time. At the moment we don’t have any pressure because we don’t have any chance to win. It’s impossible. We will probably lose to United. Everyone wrote that the title race was finished seven days ago.”

City goalkeeper Joe Hart says his side are ready for the Manchester derby: “We’ve always been focused on finishing the season well and we have given ourselves a really good chance. Our title chances are certainly a lot better than they were at the start of Sunday. We are excited, we feel ready, we are firing goals in. We are looking forward to it.”

All of the papers have already begun the countdown to the derby with many running Sir Alex's quote about it being "the biggest derby I've been involved in."

More: Sir Alex demands derby response | Nani - We can still win the title

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