Advantage lies with United - Mancini
Despite regaining their lead at the top of the Premier League, Roberto Mancini argued that Manchester United's greater experience meant the advantage lies with Alex Ferguson's side.
"I say Manchester United are the better side because they have won everything in the last 10 years," said the Manchester City manager. "But we are strong and we are confident. We knew that December and January would be difficult months for us because of injuries and suspensions and our players being away (at the Africa Cup of Nations)."
But for a superb reaction save from Joe Hart at the death, Mancini recognised that this morning Manchester City would be leading United only on goal difference. However, he argued that Hart had a long way to go before he would endorse him with anything like the tag of "the best goalkeeper in the world".
"Joe is a good 'keeper. He is young and he needs to improve, but he can become one of the best 'keepers in the world."
Asked if he was not up there already, Mancini replied: "No. He has played only three seasons in the Premier League, so how is it possible? When a player is young he needs to work a lot, to improve every day, and although he has improved a lot in the last three years, he is only 24, so he needs time.
"If we say he is now one of the best 'keepers then it's bad for him."
Yesterday's victory enabled City to improve on an away run that had seen them pick up only five points from their previous six matches -- a worse recent record than any Premier League team apart from Fulham and Queens Park Rangers. (© Independent News Service)