Roberto Mancini was in playful mood after the 4-0 demolition of West Brom breathed new life into the Blues title challenge.
The City chief smiled broadly as he told the post-match press conference that the Premier League crown would stay at Old Trafford.
“I think United is a fantastic team and I don’t think that they will drop five points,” he said.
“It is important for us to finish well because this is the best season for Manchester City since we won the championship in 1968. This is not mind games, United have fantastic experience and we don’t have it!
“Our fans believe and we play for them. I will fight and my team will fight everyday but it may be too late.”
Mancini conceded that football can always produce the unexpected but that the most important thing about the victory over West Brom was that it signalled a return to form after an up and down month.
“We improved our points total by three and our goal difference by four and that is a good thing,” he declared, still smiling.
“I was pleased for the both Carlos and Sergio because strikers always want goals but I was pleased with all the players because we did a good performance.
Carlos is maybe not fit to play ninety minutes but he will be important to us for the rest of the season
Along with Mario Balotelli, who watched the match from one of the Etihad private boxes, Tevez has been in news more than Mancini would have liked this season but both men remain in his thinking.
“Mario will be available for the United game and that is good,” he went on. “Carlos like Mario did a mistake but when someone apologises everything is finished.”
Mancini said he was not surprised by the warm ovation that greeted Tevez when the player was subbed shortly after he scored the third goal.
Now the Blues can narrow the gap to two points on United – from eight – by winning on Saturday lunchtime at Norwich and they may be boosted by the return of Yaya Toure.
“He has a problem with his knee but I do not think it is serious and he could be back at the weekend,” concluded Mancini.