Manchester City will be out of the title race if they fail to beat Aston Villa on Monday, manager Roberto Mancini has declared.
The reigning Premier League champions are 12 points behind Manchester United but could be 15 adrift of their fiercest rivals if their neighbours beat Norwich on Saturday afternoon.
While United have gone from strength to strength, City have dropped seven points in their last four Premier League matches and another slip up would prove disastrous for Mancini's men.
The Italian is refusing to concede defeat in the title race but he knows it would be mission impossible for his side if they fail to beat Villa on Monday.
"Every game will be like this. If we don't win and they continue to win, always," Mancini said.
"We talked about this last week. When you are 12 points behind it is normal that if you lose or don't win and Manchester United win the next game it will be difficult."
City came from eight points back to land their first Premier League title last year and the manager is refusing to give up on another crown until it is no longer mathematically possible to catch United.
"It is impossible we can think the season is finished now," he said.
"There are 11 games to play, 33 points [available]: everything is possible. Last time we won the title six games to go [we were] eight points [behind].
"It is our job to play all the games 100 per cent and try to win always. We should do our best from now to the end and after we will see what happens."