Roberto Mancini cycles in front of a big red truck

Mancini tries to avoid being squashed by giant red machine… and it's not Man Utd

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UPDATED:

09:01 GMT, 30 March 2012

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has been trying to stay ahead of a well-oiled red juggernaut all season – and on his way to training on Thursday it was no different.

The Italian has seen Sir Alex Ferguson's side leapfrog his side in the race for the Barclays Premier League title, but he would have been doubly glad to keep ahead of this particular machine.

After all, if it had caught him, he would have been squashed as flat as a
pancake – or, at least – as flat as City fans felt after losing against
Swansea and dropping points to Stoke.

Watch out: Roberto Mancini takes on a red machine in and out of work

Watch out: Roberto Mancini takes on a red machine in and out of work

With City to face Sunderland on Saturday, Mancini will hope City can regain top spot – at least until United's visit to Blackburn on Monday.

Meanwhile, former City manager Peter Reid fears the club have blown a golden opportunity to win the title.

After leading the Barclays Premier League for most of the season, City now trail arch-rivals Manchester United by three points with eight games remaining.

With a derby at the Etihad Stadium to come next month, City's fate still rests in their own hands but Reid believes Sir Alex Ferguson's champions have again timed their run perfectly.

Reid, speaking at the Soccerex forum in Manchester, said: 'I don't think Manchester United have been brilliant, they have dug results out – but that is Manchester United.

Dejected: Manchester City lost momentum when they drew with Stoke

Dejected: Manchester City lost momentum when they drew with Stoke

Dejected: Manchester City lost momentum when they drew with Stoke

'The manager, whatever you say about the manager, has been there and done it.

'I thought City were going to win it in December, I thought everything was there, but now I have changed my mind.

'I'm surmising Manchester United are going to win it, but I think it was a great chance for Manchester City.'

Despite the qualities of veterans Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs, Reid feels their presence in the United squad at the ages of 37 and 38 respectively should give City cause to rue a missed chance.

The former England midfielder, who managed City from 1990-93, said: 'With great respect to the players – Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes being a massive influence, I think it was a great chance for Manchester City.

On the rise: Manchester United continued to impress against Fulham

On the rise: Manchester United continued to impress against Fulham

'They are brilliant players, but at that age I am not sure this is the best league.'

With United not in action again until Monday, City can reclaim top spot on goal difference if they beat Sunderland on Saturday.

After last week's frustrating draw at Stoke – and a sequence of just two away wins in nine – City are at least back on home turf.

City have won all 15 of their league matches at Eastlands this season, and a Premier League record 20 in succession.

City are also hoping to be lifted by the return of captain Vincent Kompany after four games out with a calf injury.

The Belgium defender tweeted: 'Just had my second training session with the team. If all goes to plan I will be available for the Sunderland game.'