John O'Shea has hit back at Roberto Mancini's suggestion that Manchester United face an 'easy' ride against Sunderland in their final match of the season.
The defender will go up against his former employers for the first time on Sunday with United still in with a chance of lifting the Premier League trophy.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men sit level on points with leaders Manchester City, who lead the table on goal difference and host QPR in their final encounter.
City boss Mancini has said he expects United to pick up an "easy" win when they travel to the Stadium of Light, an insinuation that has riled Black Cats boss Martin O'Neill.
O'Shea was also piqued by the suggestion, pointing out that Sunderland have taken four points off City this season, beating them on Wearside before a dramatic 3-3 draw at the Etihad Stadium.
"Believe me, the two times City have played against us this season, they knew it wasn't an easy game," he told The Guardian.
"We've taken four points off them, and it should have been six if we think about the game at their place."
O'Shea believes Mancini's comments are his attempt to "fire up" the Sunderland players ahead of Sunday's clash but, like manager O'Neill, the 31-year-old is unimpressed by his methods.
"I think he is starting to enjoy his psychological games but, as the gaffer said, to call the integrity of the Premier League into question is disappointing," he added.
"He's going for the title and he's going to try certain things. But he doesn't need to do that."
Sunderland head into the encounter chasing a top-10 finish and O'Shea insists they will be bidding to end the season on a high note.
"First and foremost, you want to do well for yourself and your own team," he said.
"It could be a huge game for United, depending on how City do, but we want to finish with a win for our fans and we want to try to get in the top 10."
United have seen City slash their eight-point lead at the top to nothing in recent weeks and O'Shea was surprised to see his former club relinquish the top spot.
He added: "You would have expected, with all their experience, they would have managed to keep that advantage so close to the end of the season."
Who will win the Premier League?