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The Italian boss has admitted that if his side are to become the top dogs in England and overtake the Red Devils they must follow Sir Alex Ferguson's blueprint for success

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini  has warned his players that they will have to learn from their closest rivals Manchester United if they want to become the top club in England.

Mancini knows he will have to strengthen during the summer and come back stronger next season using Sir Alex Ferguson’s blueprint for success, if they are to overtake United at the top.

The Italian has admitted that the Premier League crown will remain at Old Trafford if the Red Devils beat QPR and his side lose to Arsenal on Sunday, a scenario that would leave them eight points behind.

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15/8
Manchester City are 15/8 with Paddy Power to beat Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday.
Mancini insists his starting XI would match or even better United’s starting XI, but admits Sir Alex’s squad have more experience and organisation when it comes to winning trophies.

The City manager told The Sunday Mirror: “United is a strong team, but the difference is in the 20 players, not the 11.

"Probably if we played our best 11 players against United’s best 11 players they would not be better. But we are not ready to lose three or four players.

"Maybe next year if we have more players with strong mentality it will be enough.

“United are better as a club and in their mentality. That is because they are used to staying on top. They can play without problems.

“They maybe don’t have the pressure we have because they have won everything. When you play a team like United, that is the difference, not the players.”

But despite his claims that the current City squad isn't deep enough, it doesn’t appear that Emmanuel Adebayor has a future at the Etihad, with Mancini having a wealth of strikers to choose from - including the returning Carlos Tevez.

Mancini added: “He is playing well and I am happy for him. If at the end of the season he wants to stay at Tottenham they can buy him, but there are a lot of teams who want him.

“I don’t think he will come back here, because we have four strikers and it is impossible.”

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Roberto Mancini admits that a loss would end City's title bid

One potential striking recruit that Mancini would welcome is Robin van Persie, but the Italian would not be drawn about a move for the Dutchman, saying:  “I just hope he has flu and doesn’t play against us.”

The former Inter chief also believes that United are ahead of City because they know how to deal with controversy in a private manner.

“It is true our problems are in the open. This is where we need to improve because the problem should always stay inside. It is a problem for the club to realise,” he added.

“One of the problems is the photographers at the training ground. We have talked with the guys here for two years about this and they’ve done nothing.

“It is strange, but we need people to understand that when you want to stay at the top you should work hard for everything. You do not want to give other people the chance to talk about you.

“Now we must finish our job to build a strong team. We maybe need time, but we are becoming one of the top in Europe.”

Mancini remains confident in his own ability, but observed that it took Sir Alex four seasons to win the FA Cup and another three to win his first title campaign.

He said: “In the end, second is not a bad place, but I want to try to win this title. I don’t think it is finished.

"United have done very well in the last two months, but there are seven games to the end and football can change in a week.”

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