Joe Hart insists the Manchester derby remains pivotal in the Premier League title race and has vowed that City will not give up on their chase of United until their rivals cannot be caught.
The Red Devils hold a five-point advantage over their neighbours with only four games of the season remaining, although the two teams are still to meet at the Etihad Stadium on 30th April.
Roberto Mancini continues to make public statements that the battle for the crown is over, but Hart believes that the Italian is simply trying to take the pressure off his players.
And the England goalkeeper, who is among the nominees for the PFA player of the Year award, wants a maximum haul from their remaining games, starting at Wolves on Sunday, so that they can take advantage of any slips from Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.
Hart told Sky Sports News HD: “There is no point in us turning up on Sunday if the title race is over. We’ve still got to believe, we’ve still got to fight for every single point available.
“I don’t think he (Mancini) means that the season is over. I think he is just trying to play it down a little bit and let us get on with what we need to do. There is no way any of us would give up until it is mathematically impossible.
“I know three of them definitely can be overturned – that is in our hands.
“I know three of them definitely can be overturned – that is in our hands.”
Joe Hart Quotes of the week
“Other than that, we’ve got to rely on other teams. We can only battle away and try and win every game and hope that United slip up.”
Much has been made of the return to the City team of Carlos Tevez after his self-imposed exile in Argentina earlier in the season after a very public falling out with Mancini, with the manager back-tracking on his initial statement that striker would never play for the club again.