Roberto Mancini has admitted Sir Alex Ferguson remains the managerial master - and he can only learn from the great Scot.
The pair go head-to-head in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford on Sunday. City are in the ascendancy, having established a two-point lead over their local rivals in assuming the Premier League leadership, but Mancini accepts in terms of experience, his is still the pupil.
"He is a teacher and I can learn from him," said Mancini. "It is not just me, it is all the managers. He has won everything for 25 years but he wants to continue to win."
Carlos Tevez will once again miss out on a meeting with his former club as his disciplinary hearing is due to be held on Friday. No resolution is likely until next week at the earliest.
The remainder of Mancini's squad is available though, including Mario Balotelli, who spoke of his new-found maturity in the wake of Tuesday's last-gasp Champions League win over Villarreal.
Mancini is not so sure the change in behaviour is long-term. However, he is happy to accept the mature Mario as long as it lasts.
"I hope he has arrived at a situation where he has changed his mind and he is more mature," said the City boss. "But with Mario, anything can happen at any time, even in the next game.
"Over the last two months his behaviour has been excellent. I hope he listens to me like this in future."