Fletcher: City title talk tactics just a smokescreen

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Darren Fletcher has dismissed Manchester City's claim that the title is United's to lose as nothing more than "kidology".

Appropriately enough, it was the former United No 2 Brian Kidd who made the statement after assessing a table that has his old club top on goal difference from the Blues, but also with two matches in hand.

But similar statements about Chelsea came out of Eastlands earlier this season, when it was felt Roberto Mancini was trying to take the pressure off his own team.

And Fletcher is not taking any notice of what Kidd has to say now.

"It is just a bit of kidology," said the Scotland captain. "It is still early stages and lot of teams will feel they are capable of winning the league.

"We are in a good position. We are top of the league with games in hand. But it is easy counting the points. You have to win your matches and your games in hand."

Fletcher views City as one of the most serious threats to United's attempt to register a record 19th success. "Manchester City are realistic title challengers," he said.

"They are there. They are top of the league with us just now.

"When you have that much money to spend and sign that many quality players, they are going to be a threat."

Having failed to win at St Andrews on Tuesday night, United have questions of their own to answer when they head to West Bromwich Albion tomorrow – although Arsenal failed to capitalise when they were unable to beat Wigan on Wednesday.

"It has been a strange season," said Fletcher. "The league is definitely getting stronger, as a result of which you are seeing a lot more dropped points."