Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes Roberto Mancini’s failure to invest in young players is the reason for Manchester City’s lack of recent success.

Before Monday’s clash at Old Trafford the former United captain has criticised Mancini’s approach when developing young talent and has stated that it is one of the reasons City trail their Manchester rivals by 15 points.

He also believes that the City boss should adopt the approach that Sir Alex Ferguson takes, by placing more faith in his less experienced players.

He told The Independent: "I don’t know why they’ve not created a player in the last five years when Manchester City have won the [FA] Youth Cup and been in the latter stages of that competition.

"Unless you play that 17-year-old British kid, the French or African kids that come over at the age of 14 to your academy, in your first team you are never going to find out about them."

And it seems as though Neville may have a point as not a lot of City’s youngest players have been chosen to play in major club games this season despite showing promise.

Marcos Lopes who signed for Mancini’s men in 2011 came on as a substitute in the final minutes of their FA Cup third round tie against Watford, and scored to become City’s youngest goalscorer of all time at the age of 17.

However the Portuguese midfielder has not made an appearance since and is yet to make his Premier League debut.

This is possibly an example of the Italian manager's reluctance to give his younger players an opportunity, but Neville like many other coaches believe that the high-pressure first team experience is crucial in the development and assessment of emerging players.

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Gary Neville