'We want to be number one in Manchester' - Mancini

The Italian wants City to emulate the success of rivals United and feels his team will be better in the coming seasons for their experience in this year's campaign
Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini insists that whoever wins the Premier League title this season can claim to be the number one team in Manchester.

City face United at the Etihad Stadium on Monday with the sides separated by just three points, meaning a win for the hosts will send them top.

And Mancini says that he wants to lead his side to victory over their local rivals and claim a first league title since 1968 to kick-start a dynasty of success for the club.

16/5 Manchester City are 16/5 with Paddy Power to beat Manchester United and not concede a goal.

He told reporters: “If you win the title there can be no debate about who is the number one team in Manchester for this year at least. But United have a fantastic history and it’s impossible to change that.

“Our targets should be to match the achievements of United, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“I think that now we are set up to win many trophies in the future. People say it would be easier if your main title rivals were not from the same city. I don’t agree.

“I think it’s good to win the title against your neighbours, rather than a team from another part of the country.

“I had this in Milan with Inter. It’s more satisfying to beat a local rival and it’s important for Manchester to have two great teams."

The 47-year-old went on to insist his City squad will be better next year just for the experience of being involved in the title race and hopes the club will continue to improve in the coming seasons.

 “I think the team that starts next season will be stronger because of the experience we have gained,” he added.

“Just to be fighting for the title with three games left shows we have progressed and worked well this season.

“It has shown that City will be a top club for many years.”