Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel says that Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is the reason for the Premier League champions' slump this season.
The 'Great Dane' believes that the Italian's public criticism of his players has been a key contributor to the disappointing title defence this season, and says that it is something Sir Alex Ferguson would never do.
Mancini has been particularly vocal when criticising the likes of Joe Hart, Samir Nasri and club captain Vincent Kompany in recent weeks, and Schmeichel thinks it has affected the team’s performances.
"You will never see United manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the media taking problems he has, or the squad has, or the club has, into the open," Schmeichel told Sky Sports. "Never ever. But you do see that at Manchester City.
"Some players have been heavily criticised by the manager in public. Perhaps Mancini brings that from Italy. Perhaps you do that there, where there are different expectations.
"But that does not work here. I can understand that some of the players have been angry or disappointed with that type of treatment. Sometimes they will take that on to the pitch and maybe not play 100 per cent for the manager.
"That never happens with Sir Alex Ferguson. Never. Sir Alex is so consistent with his management. He manages each person differently but you know exactly where you are with him. You know exactly what is required. Manchester City have not had that."
City go into the derby 15 points behind their neighbours with the title all but heading back to Old Trafford. And Schmeichel reckons City as a club have struggled to deal with the pressures of being champions and competing with United.
He added: "When you talk about Manchester City struggling to compete with Manchester United - and that's what it is, the gap is 15 points, so that's struggling - it's all about the whole football club.
"At Manchester United you can have a bad day and the supporters understand. Even in a crunch game you can have a bad result and they still back the team. That's a very big difference between United and most other clubs, apart from maybe Arsenal."