Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is eager to delay Manchester City's Premier League title party on Saturday but concedes it would not be the 'end of the world' if the 'deserving' champions clinched it at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola's men require victory this weekend to become the earliest top-flight champions since 1956, and whilst Mourinho praised their efforts he remains hellbent on trying to delay the inevitable as the Red Devils have their own ambitions to reach this season.
Mourinho admitted that he intends to at least try and win the game on Saturday instead of setting up defensively for a share in the spoils.
He said, via the Guardian: “My motivation now is to finish second.
"We have been in that position such a long time we want to make sure we can stay there, so when we go to Manchester City we will try to get three points.
"If that is not possible, we will try to get one, but we have enough attacking players to try and win. We are not going to go there and offer them the game – our aim will be to compete.”
The players & José owe us fans a solid performance in the derby tomorrow. Need Pogba, Lukaku, Bailly & Dave to be at their A game for us to have any chance of a result. The fact that a United win (or a draw) would prevent City from winning the title should be enough motivation.— R™ (@RealTalkMUFC) April 6, 2018
The Portuguese coach is a fierce competitor and whilst he acknowledged the superiority of City this season, he was quick to remind the public that he inflicted a similar pain on the Old Trafford faithful when he won the title with Chelsea in season 2005/06.
He added: "It is not for me to say how good City have been this season. City are going to be champions because they deserve to be champions. You only have to look at the league table to see that, they are ahead by a big number of points; they have made it impossible for everyone else.
"Whatever happens in the derby they are obviously going to win the title at some point.
“We would like to beat them to make them wait a little longer and I am sure Tottenham the following week would say the same. That is normal in football, especially when Tottenham, like us, need all the points they can get for a top-four finish.
“The moment they become champions I will congratulate them, even if they do it against Manchester United. When Chelsea won the title in 2006 they did it with a 3-0 victory over Manchester United. It can happen in football; it is not the end of the world.
"The only thing I can say is that we want to win, we don't want to offer them the game."