Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is adamant his side can still retain their Premier League title.
Trailing fierce rivals Manchester United by nine points with 13 games remaining, the chips are stacked in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side’s favour.
City visit Southampton on Saturday in their next league match after successive draws against QPR and Liverpool.
But Mancini said he will draw on the strength his side showed last season, when they overhauled an eight-point deficit with six games left to lift their first English championship in 44 years.
“In three months, everything can change – like last year,” Mancini said.
“We recovered eight points in six games. I think that to recover nine points in 13 games will be easy.
“I don’t think in the last two years that one team has played better than us.
“It’s clear Manchester United are a strong team, Chelsea are a strong team, but I think that Manchester City in the last two years is the team that’s played better in the Premier League.”
United meet Real Madrid in the Champions League in midweek – and Mancini feels that match could enter Ferguson’s mind when planning for Sunday’s league clash with Everton.
“When you also play Real Madrid in the Champions League, it’s normal that you can lose your strength in this game. But we hope they lose strength in this game,” he said.
“We support Manchester United to go through in the Champions League.”