Teams play Man United with too much fear, claims Roberto Mancini

Roberto Mancini claims teams have played Manchester United with too much "fear" this season ahead of Monday's derby clash

roberto mancini
Roberto Mancini's side are 15 points behind leaders Manchester United Photo: Back Page Images

roberto mancini

Roberto Mancini claims teams have played Manchester United with too much “fear” this season ahead of Monday’s derby clash at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils head into Monday’s showdown at Old Trafford 15 points ahead of their derby rivals and looking firmly on course for a 20th top-flight crown.

However, Mancini declared that teams have been guilty of being “very soft” against United this season as he cranked up the heat in the build-up to the game.

“No one plays well against United because they only play with fear,” said Mancini.

“Every team that plays against United plays very soft because they think this game is difficult, they can’t beat them. If you play strong against United, you can beat them, like you can beat us.”

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, meanwhile, heaped praise on his team for stepping up their performances this term after missing out on the title last season on a dramatic final day.

“The way we lost it resonated with a lot of people in the club,” said Ferguson. “The only thing you can do after that kind of thing is do better.

“That’s what the players did. They focused, their team spirit was terrific and there was a definite purpose in terms of getting the title back. They have achieved a lot this season and their approach to win the next match has been very positive.”

“We’ve improved. That’s the difficulty for [City]. Even if their points tally was as good as it was this time last season, it wouldn’t have matched ours anyway. So you have to give us credit for that – 25 wins out of 30 shows the conviction of the players’ performance.”

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