By Francisco Delgado
City’s 1-0 defeat at Arsenal earlier this month meant United had moved into an eight-point lead at the top of the table, but Sir Alex Ferguson has seen his side’s advantage cut following a loss against Wigan Athletic and a draw against Everton last Sunday.
Silva also feels City’s 6-1 hammering against United at Old Trafford earlier in the season could still linger in the minds of Ferguson’s players on Monday evening.
“I don’t think United are nervous but they know we have got closer and with the 6-1, [United’s defeat against City on October 23] they could feel more pressure,” Silva told Goal.com.
“We have improved tremendously these last few weeks and we arrive in a very good moment to the derby.
“Home advantage is important but we have to remember that we lost the derby in the FA Cup and that should be a good learning lesson not to be anxious and do things without thinking. We have to be intelligent to avoid mistakes.
“The atmosphere in the ground will be fantastic. We will have the people behind us because everybody at City wants to win the league and even more by defeating our arch rivals.”
Silva claimed his team-mates are treating the match as ‘a final’ and maintains United will find the going difficult if City, who have dropped just two points at the Etihad Stadium this season, carry their strong home form into the fixture.
“I see that my team-mates are very focused during training sessions. We have a final to play and that’s the way we are facing it,” said Silva.
On Monday our season will be on the line. We have to win, whatever it takes
“The key on Monday will be on us. If we are as strong as usual at home and we control the game’s timing, United will be very uncomfortable and won’t be able to play to their usual level. That’s what we have to do.
“We’re not obsessed with Rooney or any other of their players. We only care about us.”
Silva maintains the outcome of the derby is likely to determine the eventual winners of the Premier League and while the 26-year-old lamented City surrendering their lead at the top of the table earlier in the season, he insists his team-mates must take advantage of their resurgence in form in order to secure the title.
“On Monday our season will be on the line. We have to win, whatever it takes,” said Silva.
“The only think that matters is the result and not the way we play. I expect a very dramatic match as it will probably decide who are this season’s champions,” he said.
“Our objective is to win the three remaining matches. It won’t be easy but it’s the only way we can be champions even if we suffer in the process. In fact, that would make it even more enjoyable.
“We shouldn’t have arrived to this match with such a deficit in the table, but after all the comings and goings this season we still have a good chance of winning the title and we have the make the most of it.”
The Spain international also urged caution ahead of the tie due to the threat United possess in attack and claims City will not be drawing inspiration from their 6-1 victory at Old Trafford earlier in the season.
“We are not nervous,” said Silva.
“We will play a serious match and we need to be sharp in every line but we can’t give any chances to United because they are very experienced and know how to handle themselves in these situations.”
“The 1-6 is already forgotten. That happens only once in a lifetime and we are very happy that it happened to us but we have a very hard match in front of us.”