Having taken only a solitary point from their opening two UEFA Champions League group games, Roberto Mancini recognises that victory over Villarreal on Tuesday is crucial to Manchester City's hopes of reaching the last 16.
The Citizens are preparing for the most important week of their season so far, with a stern test of their Barclays Premier League credentials coming when they travel to Old Trafford next Sunday.
But for now, the Italian tactician is putting thoughts of the Manchester derby to the back of his mind, as he concentrates on getting the club's European campaign back on track.
"It is important for us to concentrate on Villarreal." Mancini told the Daily Telegraph.
"If we can beat Villarreal - and I don't think it will be easy - maybe we will have a better chance to go through to the knockout stages. If we don't beat them, it will be difficult."
Domestically, City are in fine fettle, having climbed above the reigning champions after their 4-1 victory over Aston Villa at the weekend, and Mancini wants to make sure his players are fully focused on the clash with their La Liga counterparts, before turning attention to United.
"After Villarreal, we have four days to recover and to prepare for the derby," he continued. "We don't really need to prepare for the game with United because we know they are a top team, and I don't think we need to prepare any differently.
"Beating Villarreal is our first target. Then we can think about the other games. We are playing in the Champions League for the first time and we can't think that we will win every game.
"We know we need more experience, but we still have four games left and, if we beat Villarreal, we can still get first place in the group. If not, we can fight for the second place."