'Manchester City have to learn from United': Huckerby urges former club to emulate Red Devils' title-winning nous

The 35-year-old insists Mancini's side must win at Carrow Road to keep their Premier League title hopes alive but warns that Paul Lambert's Canaries will be tough opponents

By Rob Stewart

Former Manchester City striker Darren Huckerby believes his old club must learn from local rivals Manchester United if they are going to win their first Premier League title.

Huckerby sounded the warning as City prepared to head to another of his former clubs in Norwich City on Saturday knowing that they cannot afford to slip up in their pursuit of pacesetters and reigning champions United.

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"This sounds awful but they have got to learn from Manchester United," Huckerby told Goal.com.

"I say that because United do it year-in, year-out. They always get strong at around this time of year. People might say they are the weakest Manchester United team in many years but they are still top of the Premier League.

"They have just got an inherent winning ability and I think it helps when you have got players like Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, and Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney because they have won the title before.

"Until City get that first title, it is something that Manchester United will always have over them in that they have got the experience because they have done it before.

"That is the big thing. That is what is going to have to change. City are going to a have to learn. As soon as they win one title maybe two or three will follow but it is just a matter of getting that first one."

City are currently five points behind United whose dramatic win over Norwich in February, secured courtesy of Giggs' late winner, was seen as a pivotal point in the title race.

"Their winning mentality was epitomised when they beat Norwich at Carrow Road," added Norfolk-based Huckerby.

"We played really well but they turned the screw right near the end and managed to get the win but that is what they do. They have been doing that sort of thing for 15 years. It should be no surprise to anyone when this happens.


  P W D L F A GD Pts
Manchester Utd 33 25 4 4 78 28 +50 79
Manchester City 33 23 5 5 79 26 +53 74

"People have been writing them off before. There have been times when there have been periods of transition at Old Trafford and people write them off and then they are back at the top because they know how to win games. On paper you could say that City have got a much stronger squad but experience tells."

Now, ahead of Saturday's meeting between Roberto Mancini's City and Paul Lambert's side, Huckerby is relishing the prospect of seeing his old clubs in action with Norwich buoyed by their 2-1 win at Tottenham on Monday.

"It will be a massive game, especially with Manchester United dropping points at Wigan, because City are now back in the hunt but they must know that if they lose another game this season it is going to cost them the title," Huckerby continued.

"This is a must-win game for them so that means that the pressure is off us because we are effectively safe now.

"In terms of the title race, I still think that it is against City. There is no doubt about it. United losing the other night was an off-game for them but you can’t really see them slipping up like that again between now and the end of the season. City still have a chance but it’s quite simple; they have to make sure that they win every game.

"No team comes to Carrow Road and has an easy game. We will battle hard, work hard for each other and there is a good chance that we could cause an upset. The way we are playing at the moment and as we showed on Monday at Tottenham that when we play well we are an extremely tough team to beat."

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