CLASS APART; THE BIG ONE MAN CITY v MAN UTD TOMORROW, 4.30PM Mourinho labels Guardiola's side 'untouchable' ahead of showdown.
Byline: CARL ASKEW
JOSE MOURINHO has branded local rivals Manchester City "untouchable" ahead of tomorrow's derby showdown.
City won the title from United last season by a record-breaking 19-point margin and are already nine points ahead of their neighbours.
Mourinho sidestepped the issue of off-field allegations facing City's financial arrangements but said, on the pitch, Pep Guardiola's side are out on their own.
He said: "I focus on football, so if you want to speak about their football potential we can speak and football potential starts with investment.
"And after that of course there is a quality of the work - of the organisation that I think is untouchable.
"What is behind, I cannot say. In this moment I have only to think about football, and to think about football is to think about Manchester City as a football team."
United came from behind to win 3-2 at the Etihad last season to delay City's title coronation and Mourinho insisted they will go there again to do the same.
Asked if United will go toe to toe with City in an attacking sense, Mourinho said: "We're going to try.
"I can't say we're going to be successful in our motivations but we played two difficult matches away against two very good teams, Chelsea and Juventus, and we managed to get good results.
"Even if the good results were not in our pockets, the performances were there, the positive attitude was there.
"So we're going to try but City are a very powerful team."
Asked if he is happy with the way that United have come back from losing positions to win three of their last six games, the Old Traffford boss said: "We can go to the other side - why we always concede before the opponent.
"If we keep conceding goals before the opponent then there will be a day where we can't come back and so we have to grow up in our approach. It's clear the team is growing up but we have to grow up in our compactness and start matches well."
City star Raheem Sterling believes his improvement as a player has been "incredible".
The England star put his name to a new three-and-a-half year, PS275,000 a week deal yesterday and said: "I'm delighted to sign. My development has been incredible.
"I felt from the minute I got here it was the right choice. It has paid off for me and I'm really grateful.
"With the coaching staff and the players we have in this team it's the perfect environment."
READY TO GO TOE TO TOE Mourinho, right, and Guardiola