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The Argentina defender wants the current Premier League champions to show more of the team unity that has won their nearest rivals a record 19 league titles in the top flight

Pablo Zabaleta insists Manchester City need to be more "united" if they are to challenge for the Premier League title again.

City are currently 15 points behind Manchester United with just nine games to go in the title race this season, rendering the meeting between the two sides at Old Trafford on April 8 almost irrelevent.

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But Zabaleta, who is expected to be named the club's player of the year, believes City need to develop the mental strength possessed by their nearest rivals.

“We [Manchester City] have to grow as a group and in terms of our mentality,” he told reporters.

“People often consider that it’s enough having champions in your team to win, but if great players don’t form a united front you are not going anywhere.

“We need to learn to be more solid. [Manchester] United have played better, and being 15 points behind is too big a gap.

“The difference is they have won even when they have played badly and we have managed to drop points when it wasn’t deserved.

“It’s a question of mentality. United have developed a winning culture over the last 20 years, but we are at the beginning of our project.”

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