Manchester: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has insisted he has not given up hope of his team being crowned Premier League champions despite falling eight points behind rivals Manchester United. With just six games of the campaign remaining, City face an uphill challenge if they are to lift the Premier League trophy, yet Mancini insists he is proud of his players whatever the outcome, and says they will continue to challenge for the title.
"It's not easy, but we need to think positively. I'm proud of all my players for what we did until today. We now need to continue to win to get the maximum points we can. Then we will see. I will never say we can't win the league if there is still a chance. That is not my life, never, Mancini said to the reporters.
At this stage last season Chelsea found themselves in a similar position to City, yet went on to record three straight victories before their showdown with Sir Alex Ferguson's men. And Mancini believes a similar run is not beyond his team, insisting they are in with a shout.
He continued: "Also last year, if you remember, six games to the end Chelsea were six or seven points [behind]. But they went to Manchester three games to the end three points behind. We are professional, we need to finish well and we need to win the games we have left."
"It's [the title] not over. In football it's never finished. For this reason, I believe always. But we did a fantastic season and we need to finish well."
City face United at the Etihad Stadium on April 30th, knowing a win for Sir Alex's men could well clinch the title for their city rivals. When asked of the possibility of United clinching the title at the Etihad, Mancini replied: "I don't know this. I just know today we have 15 points more than we had at this stage last year."
"So I can say we did well. Now it's clearly difficult for us to win the title. But we hope they can lose three or four points before the derby and after that we'll see. I repeat, six games to the end. 18 points. Never say never."