Roberto Mancini feels it is far too early to suggest Manchester City are out of the title race.
City are nine points behind Manchester United with 13 games remaining but, with their neighbours not playing until Sunday, the reigning champions can reduce the deficit to six if they beat Southampton on Saturday.
There have been many instances of teams turning around big deficits and with a third of the season remaining there is still plenty to play for.
Indeed, United were eight points ahead with six games remaining last season, only for City to come back and snatch the title, and Mancini sees no reason why history cannot repeat itself.
"Manchester United have done better than us this season because they won a lot of games," said Mancini.
"They have nine points more than us.
"But if we can recover eight points in six games, recovering nine in 13 games will be easy.
"I never remember the title race being finished 10 or 13 games before the end.
"Three years ago Chelsea were nine points behind at one point. By the time they played at Old Trafford two or three games from the end, they were only three points behind.
"In the end, if Manchester United win all their games from now to the end of the season, they deserve to win.
"But I am sure we have another chance."
While United are still fighting on three fronts, City are only chasing the Premier League and FA Cup after failing to progress in Europe and they will need United to drop a significant number of points if they are to retain their title.
Missing out on back-to-back titles could be perceived as a failure but Mancini believes his side can be happy with the progress they have made in a few short years.
"It is important we are there, on the top and fighting for the title every year," he said.
"If another team is better than you, you should accept it. But I don't think anyone has played better than us over the last two years.
"Manchester United are a strong team, so are Chelsea but in the last two years Manchester City is the team that played better in the Premier League.
"We are unlucky because we lost players in January to the African Nations Cup.
"But last year no one believed we could win the title and in the end we won. This year could be the same."