Roberto Mancini believes his Manchester City side can still win the Premier League title despite a 1-0 defeat at Arsenal that leaves them eight-points adrift of reigning champions Manchester United.
Speaking after his side went down to a late Mikel Arteta strike at the Emirates, Mancini tried to be defiant in the face of those who say it is now a question of when not if United get over the line.
However, the Italian did admit that it would be "very difficult" for City to overhaul their city rivals, who now boast a significant lead heading into the final six games of the season after beating QPR 2-0 earlier on Sunday.
Speaking after his side went down to a late Mikel Arteta strike at the Emirates, Mancini said when asked if the title was race over: "No, it's not mathematically (over), but it's clear now that it's very difficult.
"We have a game in three days and we will try to win. Never say never in football."
He added on Sky Sports 1: "In life until it's over you should do your best. In the end if we don't win it's probably because they (United) did better than us.
"It's clearly difficult (to lift the players) but we play in three days and this is good.
"We are a professional team, with professional players. It's important we start to win and finish the championship well."