Vincent Kompany wants Manchester City to beat Manchester United on Monday at Old Trafford to be the "champions of Manchester". Despite his side being 15 points behind Sir Alex Ferguson's team, the defender is intent on victory against them and in the FA Cup semi-final with Chelsea the following weekend to ensure a strong finish to the campaign.
"It would be nice to challenge them [United] on their turf again," Kompany, the City captain, said. "A derby is a derby. I don't think we could care less about the league in that game. It is about who is going to be champions of Manchester.
"It is always important as a group for everyone to take responsibility [for the points deficit]. Collectively it is disappointing. At the same time, I feel there is still a lot to look forward to. Whichever way we finish this season might set us up for the next one.
"I always remember the way we finished the season when we won the FA Cup [in 2011]. We finished equal points with Chelsea, which was a massive boost for us. We secured a place in the Champions League and also won the FA Cup. The year after that we went on to win the title. The end of one season has an impact on how you start the next one."
Last season's corresponding fixture at Old Trafford ended in City routing United 6-1. "I don't expect Manchester United to be less motivated because they have this points gap between us where they are pretty safe," Kompany added.
"It will be like a one-off game. It will be like a cup final. There will be everything in it. For the neutrals we have enjoyed a couple of great derbies in the last couple of years. I can only wish the same with a happy ending for Manchester City.
"I have never been someone who has milked the result we had last year. Those things don't happen often. For me it is a one-off game and everything that has happened in the past has no importance whatsoever next Monday. It is about coming out on top in that game. I am looking forward to it and I think everyone else at Manchester City is too."
The United central defender Nemanja Vidic will sever all lines of communication to his fellow Serbs Aleksandar Kolarov and Matija Nastasic ahead of the derby. United's captain is close friends with the duo but their commitment to the City cause makes it impossible for idle chit-chat, no matter how well the compatriots get on. For Vidic, the only way to deal with the situation is not to communicate at all.
"I never speak with an opponent before a game," he said. "I am good friends with Kolarov and Nastasic. But I don't like to talk. I like to go there and do it. On game day I think about the game, I don't waste energy before the game starts, otherwise you end up tired."
Wayne Rooney will continue to have treatment on the groin injury that ruled him out of the past two games.