Football - City count on United getting the jitters

The shock of losing last year's title at the last second could derail Manchester United's charge to this season's crown, according to Manchester City assistant Brian Kidd.


With United 13 points clear at the top and able to secure the title as early as Monday, it might sound like the defending champions are clutching at straws but after the manner in which they won it last year they have good reason not to give in.

City clinched their first league title since 1968 when they scored twice in stoppage time to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 and win the championship on goal difference from United, who had finished their final game thinking they had done enough.

"There will be some jittery moments," said Kidd, a former assistant to Ferguson at United who was standing in for City manager Roberto Mancini at the club's regular Friday news conference.

"With what happened last year - it was a bad experience for them, I believe they will have been shocked by it.

"It's not over until it's mathematically finished with."

Kidd's message difers from the one Mancini has been giving as the Italian has said several times the title race is over and it certainly will be if City lose at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday and United beat Aston Villa on Monday.

Kidd went as far as to say that City could still do a domestic double of league and FA Cup, although even the most optimistic fan would think they have much more chance of the latter when they face Wigan Athletic in next month's final.

"It could turn out a great season for Manchester City," said Kidd, who had spells at both United and City as a player. "We would win the league and we could win the Cup, what a great season.

"We've got a group of players that you can trust and I think both teams, Manchester City and United, can go to the end of the season without losing but both teams can drop points as well.

"You've got to be in the slipstream if the team above you drop points."

City, who made up eight points in six games on their way to the title last year, travel to fifth-placed Tottenham with doubts over David Silva and Sergio Aguero, who have hamstring injuries.

"To drop eight points in six games, nobody thought that could have happened this time last year but it did," Kidd said. "There's stranger things in football."

United have 81 points from 33 games, with City on 68 from 32.

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