Man City will struggle to break Premier League title duck, says United legend Robson
00:01 GMT, 23 March 2012
Former Manchester United captain Bryan Robson believes Barclays Premier League rivals City may feel the pressure of trying to win the title for the first time.
City came from behind to beat Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday and can now go back ahead of United if they win at Stoke City on Saturday evening.
Nevertheless, Old Trafford ambassador Robson believes the pressure of trying to win the league for the first time may yet tell on City.
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Robson said: 'I do think the race has just swung slightly to United now.
'Because of their experience over the years Manchester United will not take it for granted. They will not ease off.
'United are definite favourites now. You can never do anything in football by looking down at fixture lists but on paper, City have the worst of it.
'The other thing in Man United's favour is that they have been there, seen it, done it, year in, year out for the last 20 years. The manager is so experienced. He knows how to handle it.'
Robson was part of the first United team to win the Premier League back in 1992-93. That team missed out narrowly on a couple of occasions before they did win it, though.
He added: 'Certain City players will have it in the back of their mind that they are never going to do it. Some will be really positive. Others won't have the same character.
'Once you have achieved it, the whole squad know what you have done and you get confidence from it. It makes it easier to win it again.
'Our greatest win was the first. It took the shackles off. The players started to relax because it wasn't 26 years without a league title anymore.
'Everybody had the confidence to win. That was a big thing.
'With Manchester City, it is still going to take a bit of time. United have been there, seen it, done it for so many years.
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'City are building. Over the last three years they have come a long way. Winning the FA Cup was a big thing. At least they have a trophy in the cabinet.
'You can't dismiss them for this season. They still have a great chance. They believe that. We will only be able to assess where they are at the end of the season.
'But the first time, you do feel pressure. As soon as you slip up, that pressure is on you. It looks like it won't be your year.”
Now recovered from the throat cancer that he suffered a year ago when working in Thailand, Robson is heavily involved once again at Old Trafford and believes manager Sir Alex Ferguson continues to give United the edge over their rivals.
The former England skipper said: 'Another little downturn for City is the little bit of negative publicity; the Tevez saga, Balotelli on a couple of nights out.
'Those little things…Sir Alex Ferguson always keeps right on top of them and doesn't allow them to happen.
'Sometimes that is because he knows the character of the players and doesn't allow it to happen.
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'The manager has a massive influence on all the boys. He has this winning mentality. He does man-management really well. That can be the biggest difference.
'The boss isn't interested in one individual. He is interested in the whole group. Not just his first-team squad, all the kids in the youth team, the reserve boys.
'He just says: “I am not standing for that type of behaviour”.'
Ferguson did face a test of his authority when Wayne Rooney arrived for training worse for wear after a night out over Christmas. The United manager immediately dropped his star player.
'That is why he will always clamp down,' added Robson. 'When you look at certain managers, you ask whether they would have left Rooney out.
'United had a million injuries going into that game. He is fielding depleted team and then he says: “I am not having him” and Wayne is left out.
'A lot of managers might have fined him but put him in because it was an important game and they didn't want to slip up. The boss saw the bigger picture.
'It is not just that. It is the other side of it as well. Does Wayne think he can get away with it because he is one of the top players in the world The boss has shown the answer to be no.'
Breaking the duck: United ended their 26-year wait for a title in 1993
Bryan Robson was speaking ahead of the Soccerex European Forum to be held in Manchester next week.