Roberto Mancini says the destination of the Premier League title this season is in the hands of Manchester City, and insists he will not be distracted by any apparent psychological warfare.
City face Sunderland at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday afternoon, three points behind rivals Manchester United in pursuit of the league crown.
This week has seen the mind games between the two rivals step up a notch somewhat, with City development executive Patrick Vieira claiming United win favourable decisions from referees at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman has since claimed he was misrepresented when the quotes were reported, but this did not stop Sir Alex Ferguson responding to this apparent broadside.
But Mancini is not about to fire a retort at United's master of the dark arts, and instead hopes his players can respond on the pitch - starting with victory against Sunderland this weekend.
"Our motivation should only be to take this championship," the City boss told his weekly press conference.
"The other situations, outside the pitch, with supporters or what other people say, are not important.
"It is clear that they have done very well for the last eight weeks but in eight games, anything can happen.
"Everything is in our hands. If we win all the games and win the derby, we can win."
Should City win against the Black Cats, they will increase their record to an astonishing 21 league victories at home in succession.
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