Roberto Mancini has conceded that rivals Manchester United currently have more confidence than his Manchester City side, after Sir Alex Ferguson’s men went top of the Premier League at the weekend.
Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea condemned City to only their fourth league defeat all season and meant they were over taken in the title race by United with just ten fixtures remaining.
Mancini’s charges have now lost twice on the trot with the addition of their 1-0 reverse away to Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League, and the Italian has insisted that the Red Devils have the mental edge.
“The title is long, but clearly, at this moment, United’s confidence is better,” Mancini told The Mirror.
“But what is important is to be there at the end, and this is what we want.
"We have two problems – the injuries to key players, such as Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott, and the fact we play every three days.”
City face Sporting on Thursday in the second-leg of their Europa League last 16 tie needing a win to progress to the quarter-finals.
However Mancini insists he will not be sacrificing the competition to taste Premier League success and has defended his team selection following the defeat in Lisbon which resulted in injuries to key defenders Kompany and Lescott.
“I understand this, but we want to try to win both competitions,” he added.
"If I play with a full team, it's a problem," he said in apparent frustration. "If I don't play with a full team, it's a problem.
"At this moment, everything is a problem, but I didn't know they would get injured in that game.
"It's normal that after seven months with you playing every three days, that you need to give some players a rest."
With Sporting holding a slender advantage going in to the tie at the Etihad, last week’s goalscorer Xandao has stressed the Portuguese outfit have no fear going into the tie.
"We know it's going to be a battle and a tremendously hard game, but we'll go there with no fear and we'll try and get a historic qualification for Sporting," said Xandao.
"We're aware of City's quality, especially when they play at home. We know they'll try with everything they've got to score the goals they need, but we'll be ready."
Want to be at the Euro 2012 opener? Who doesn't? With Sharp FanLabs you can win free tickets to the opening event of 2012's biggest tournament. Click here to take part!