| MANCHESTER, England
MANCHESTER, England Oct 21 Manchester City
manager Roberto Mancini described himself as a "pupil" to the
master of managers Alex Ferguson as he prepared to take him on
at Old Trafford in Sunday's Mancunian derby.
Mancini said he was still looking and learning from the
69-year-old Scot as he marvelled at his rival's sustained hunger
after 25 years and 12 Premier League titles at Old Trafford.
Mancini's City side face United in a highly-anticipated
meeting of the Premier League's top two on Sunday afternoon
(1230 GMT) with City aiming to end United's winning streak of 19
The 46-year-old told reporters on Friday: "I can say thank
you to him (Ferguson). I have a big respect for him as he has
won everything for 25 years, he is a teacher and I am a pupil.
At his age he wants to continue to win and it is not only (a
lesson for) me but all young managers.
"He is 69. After 69 years and every three days he is there
concentrated, every time they score a goal it's incredible.
"It is difficult to arrive at this age and have the same
strength every day, to want to win every game, and want to work
every day, it is not easy after so many years."
Asked if he could emulate the Scot and still be coaching at
69, Mancini added: "That won't be easy."
Big-spending City climbed two points above United at the top
of the Premier League last weekend and have made their best
start to a season for 114 years as they pursue their first
league title since 1968.
Mancini added it was a "very important" test for his team.
"I think it will be very different -- for the first time in
a long time we can go there on the top, this is a good thing for
us," he said.
"Sunday will be a very hard game, United at home are
incredible, it is important that we go there and are ready to
play a good game and defend very well because they have
Mancini took heart from his team's last-gasp 2-1 win over
Villarreal in the Champions League on Tuesday night -- the kind
of victory that is United's trademark.
He said: "The mentality is important. United have this
mentality, they try to win in the last seconds."
United, with their 19 Premier League titles, and a
glittering history, have cast City in their shadow for decades
and Mancini knows City's work has just begun if they want to
stay above them.
"United have an incredible history, always on the top," he
"We are there now and if want to stay there we need to
continue to work. We have improved a lot from last year but have
to continue to improve. Is not easy to get to the top but when
you get there, you have to work more.
"To come away from Old Trafford winning and be top of the
league (would be) very important."
Manchester City have only one of 28 league matches at Old
Trafford since Denis Law's famous back-heel goal gave them a 1-0
victory there when United were relegated from the old First
Division in 1974.
Their only win since then was in February 2008 on the
weekend that marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich air
disaster when they beat United 2-1.
(Editing by Mike Collett)