Mancini denies personal battle with former Manchester City boss Hughes

Italian moves to play down talk of any rivalry between himself and the QPR boss ahead of this weekend's showdown which will decide the fates of both team's seasons
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has played down speculation of any personal rift between himself and QPR boss Mark Hughes ahead of Sunday's title decider.

While the Rs will head into the weekend knowing that a point would ensure their safety, they will also be aware that a victory for City would secure the title for Mancini's team, a factor which many are speculating will give the QPR boss added motivation due to his ties to both clubs.

Hughes was in the hotseat at City before being sacked and replaced by Mancini in 2009 and was also a former player at their title rivals Manchester United, but the Italian has played down any ill feeling, with the threat of relegation enough for his opposite number to be dealing with.

"This is not important - on Sunday we play Manchester City against QPR," the City manager told reporters.

"For me, they are a good team, they don't deserve to stay at the bottom.

"They want to do everything to stay in the Premier League and for this reason I think it will be a tough game."

He went on to stress the importance of the fixture for both clubs, declaring that it is case of the clubs being pitted against one another not the managers.

''I don't know [Hughes] very well but it is not Mancini against Hughes or Hughes against Mancini. It is City against QPR.

"One team plays for the title, the other plays [to avoid] relegation."

With City leading the table on goal difference, both Mancini and the players know that they only need to match Manchester Utd's result to pick up their first title since 1968.

The Italian admits that come match day there will be nerves but said there had been no tension during the weeks training.

"It is a normal week, without problem, without injury," added Mancini. "We have worked well.

"The players are very well. I think maybe tomorrow, Saturday, we can have pressure - I don't know - because it is the last game, but it doesn't change our situation.

"We need to play another difficult game. We need only to have focus about the game."