Manchester City find themselves trailing their Manchester rivals by 15 points, but Roberto Mancini insists it is other teams' fear of playing the Red Devils that is to blame.
The Daily Mirror reports that the Italian has accused the rest of the Premier League of accepting defeat before they play United out of fear.
He believes other teams have rolled over and handed Sir Alex Ferguson's side a 13th Premier League title.
“No-one plays well against United because they only play with fear,” Mancini commented. “United are strong now because of this importance as a team, as a club.
“Every team that plays against United plays very soft because they think this game is difficult, that they can’t beat them."
Mancini has also blamed City's failure to defend their title on a lack of recruitment in the summer. He states that, had he brought in new players, his side would be top of the league and through to the latter stages of the Champions League.
“Yeah, yeah, 100 per cent,” said Mancini. “Probably we would be on top, could win the second title and probably we would be in the Champions League quarter- final.
“You want one player, maybe two or three teams want the same player and after you can take this or take another player. After, it is difficult.
“We had a chance to get three or four players who could improve our team but we didn’t in the end. Now it’s finished."
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