Manchester City assistant manager Brian Kidd on Friday claimed that the English Premier League title race is not completely over and promised that the club's players will fight to the bitter end.
City are 13 points behind leaders Manchester United with six league matches of their season left and manager Roberto Mancini has previously conceded that the title race was effectively over.
But a win against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on Sunday would reduce the gap at the top to 10 points, with United set to face Aston Villa on Monday.
Kidd said that while the defending champions still have a glimmer of hope they will try to keep up the pressure on their city rivals in the hope they capitulate in a similar manner to last season.
"This time last year everybody said it was all over again," Kidd told reporters.
"You were talking about eight points in six games. Nobody thought Manchester United would drop eight points in six games. Nobody knows.
"The title is not over yet until it is mathematically finished. It is United's to lose but make no mistake, there will be some jittery moments and with what happened last year it was a bad experience for them and they will be shocked by it.
"You saw Sir Alex Ferguson's reaction after the Sunderland game last year. That tells you. To drop eight points in six games, nobody thought that could have happened this time last year but it did.
"Stranger things have happened in football. It is poor if we thought it was all over. It could turn out a great season for Manchester City, we could win the league and the (FA) cup."
Kidd hinted that while Mancini has publicly written off their title chances, there remained hope among the squad that they can still do it, despite the long odds.
"We are champions and we want to fight until the end. We have to accumulate as many points as we can. We have to take pride in that," Kidd added.
"We go on every day. We have not given up. It is Manchester United's to lose but this time last year, the gaffer (boss) must have thought I was daft last year because I kept going on about it, that they will drop points.
"I've experienced that over the years," said Kidd, who played for both Manchester clubs during his career and was assistant to Ferguson in the 1990s.
"Until it is mathematically certain, there is hope there and belief. It can happen. It sounds daft but it could be a great season."
City look set to be without Spain midfielder David Silva for the trip to White Hart Lane as he struggles with a hamstring problem, while Argentina forward Sergio Aguero is doubtful with a similar injury.
"David has joined in with the group, a bit of possession and small-sided games. Sunday might be a bit too soon for him," Kidd said.
"We will know more about Sergio with his hamstring soon. It was more fatigue than a tear or a strain."