Roberto Mancini has claimed that Manchester City do not deserve to be 15 points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester United and insisted that the league table is not "true".
Defending champions City face United at Old Trafford on Monday with Mancini admitting there is no chance of overhauling Alex Ferguson's team over the final five weeks of the season.
But, despite United having won 25 of 30 league games this season, Mancini believes the standings do not do his team justice. "We don't deserve to stay 15 points behind," Mancini said. "They (United) have played well and the last time they lost was against Norwich, so they deserve to stay on the top.
"But it is not a true table and we now have eight games left, so if we play well and win a lot of these games, maybe we can reduce this gap. This should be our target – because it is a derby, because we want to show we don't deserve to stay 15 points behind and also because we can reduce the gap. But the title race is finished."
Mancini has pointed to City's reduced goal rate as the reason for their failure to challenge United for the title. His side have the best defensive record in the Premier League.
"The difference is that we have scored 20 goals less than last year," Mancini said. " We concede the same, we have the best defence, we are missing only these goals."
Meanwhile, United are awaiting the outcome of a sound engineer's report into noise levels at Old Trafford, having been urged by supporters to improve the atmosphere inside the stadium. (© Daily Telegraph, London)