Mancini warns City
Roberto Mancini has warned his Manchester City players that their 5-1 victory over Tottenham will mean nothing when the title rivals clash again at Eastlands on Sunday.
Premier League leaders City would open up an eight-point lead over third placed Tottenham with a win this weekend, but Mancini is taking nothing for granted even though his side routed Harry Redknapp's men at White Hart Lane in August.
That win in north London announced City's arrival as genuine title contenders, but Redknapp has transformed his side into a force to be reckoned with since then, while Mancini's team have seen their form dip in recent weeks.
All of which explains why Mancini is so keen to downplay the result of the last meeting between the clubs.
"That was five months ago, their second match of the season and it was totally different," he said. "You know when you start the season anything can happen.
"Everyone in the squad is not ready to play 100 per cent, everyone needs four, five, six games to be confident. Now it is different and I think Tottenham are one of the best teams.
"It is better to lose one game 5-1 than to lose five games 1-0. You can have one bad day when you concede three, four or five goals.
"We won 5-1 because it was only the second game of the season, for that reason only. Now it is more difficult."
Tottenham have rarely been involved in the title battle since they last won the English crown in 1961, but Mancini believes they could go all the way this season.
"Tottenham are a very, very strong team - they have 20-22 international players and not all of them are young players. For me, they can win the title," he said.
"I think at this moment three clubs - City, Manchester United and Tottenham - could win the title."