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The coach insisted that the Italian manager retains focus on becoming champions and is not distracted by opposite number's comment that playing Carlos Tevez was 'desperate'

Roberto Mancini is not affected by Sir Alex Ferguson’s mind-games, insists Manchester City first-team coach David Platt.

City could only 1-1 draw away at Stoke City at the weekend, a match in which they equalised through Yaya Toure but could not find a winner after going a goal down to a Peter Crouch wonder-strike.

The disappointing result means that Manchester United can take a three-point lead over their rivals with a home win over Fulham on Monday, after a week in which the so-called mind-games have begun between the two clubs.

"[Mancini] just laughed. It's not a problem to him. It's not about him and it's not about Sir Alex. It's about the two teams alone and apart"
Manchester City are 17/2 with William Hill to beat Sunderland 3-1 in their Premier League match on Saturday.

City executive Patrick Vieira suggested that bringing back former England midfielder Paul Scholes mid-way through the season showed "desperation", with Ferguson’s response that playing Carlos Tevez after his dispute with the club was an even greater sign of the same thing.

Platt, however, insisted that his words will not be significant in the title race, telling The Daily Mail: "I read it and, when you look at the quotes, Sir Alex hasn't necessarily said that. It seems it was a bit tongue-in-cheek and there was a bit of fun there - I don't know.

"But Robbie just laughed, he just laughed. It's not a problem to him. It's not about him and it's not about Sir Alex. It's about the two teams alone and apart."

The coach went on to comment on Mancini’s experience, adding that: "He's fine. He's done it before and he wants to win.

"As regards the pressure on him, it's not about whether he handles the pressure so much as whether the players go out and get the results."

The City manager did not face the media after his side’s draw with the Potters but the former England midfielder continued:  "He didn’t come up to speak to you because he didn’t want to get involved in things that would detract from the fact we’ve got eight games left.”

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