Former Manchester City full back Danny Mills said City need to avoid complacency to highlight the gulf in quality between themselves and rivals Manchester United.

The Citizens host the Red Devils in the Manchester derby on Sunday, but Mills said City will still need to show their quality if they are to beat what will be a determined United side.

Mills, who made it to the Champions League semi final with Leeds during his playing days, backed Man City to win the competition again, and said Leeds have every chance of returning to the Premier League.

He also spoke about how proud he was to be a key part of the England side that made it to the World Cup quarter final in 2002.

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  • On playing in the 2002 World Cup

Mills was given an unprecedented call up to the England squad for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan, where he featured heavily.

Playing five times in the tournament as the Three Lions made it to the quarter final, Mills said it was an honour and a shock to be such a key part of the side.

He also said that it was the proudest moment of his career to play in a World Cup, something he ranked above his Champions League semi final run with Leeds.

"It was very unexpected, I didn't even expect to be a part of the squad, I thought I had an outside chance if I was going to be very lucky, I had only started one game prior to the World Cup squad being announced.

"Even that was a token gesture at Elland Road, because this was in the days where there were lots of substitutions and we were on the road, and all the Leeds players started the game.

"Gary Neville got injured in March or April, in the lead up to the tournament, and that left a space at right back, Phil Neville was still in there, along with Wes Brown, and I was in and around it at the time.

"I'd had a good season at Leeds, the previous season we'd done well in the Champions League as well, so it was a boyhood dream come true.

"I will always say, I was an average player, not a lot more than that, I worked harder than most, I was more dedicated and made more sacrifices and that's why I got opportunities.

"I was good at what I did, I wasn't a good ball player, I was a decent defender, and I was able to stop the opposition.

"To play in a World Cup, I go back to watching Mexico '86 and Italia '90 which sparked huge interest in me coming up to being a teenager, where I thought 'wow, imagine I could be a professional footballer'."

"I imagined playing in the Premier League, for England U21s and in Europe, but I played in a World Cup, and it doesn't get better than that.

"The World Cup gave me fond memories that can never be taken away from me."

As a former Manchester City player, Mills backed his old employers to add to last season's success in Europe.

After winning the Champions League last term, Mills said the competition the Citizens will face this campaign in the latter stages of the tournament should not worry them.

When asked if he felt City could win the trophy again this season, Mills was confident they could establish themselves as the best side in Europe once again.

"There's no reason why not, if you look around the Champions League at the moment and think about who's performing brilliantly.

"Bayern are a little bit off it, certainly not anywhere near the team they've been in the past, and I've covered a few of their games.

"Who is going to stop Man City? Real Madrid will be there or thereabouts, they have a special team, manager and mentality.

"But then, looking around, maybe Arsenal could stop them, a domestic team, it depends on the draw and who they get, but I look at it and think City have nobody to fear.

"Normally when you get to the quarters or semi finals you think there's a side you'd want to avoid, but I think City will look at it and know that if they play well they can beat anyone.

"It's still about injuries, form and a little bit of luck without a doubt, you always need a bit of luck to win anything."

  • On the Manchester derby

Mills said the Citizens will need to show why they are such heavy favourites when they host arch rivals Manchester United at the Etihad on Saturday.

Mills, who played for City between 2004 and 2009 having been loaned out during his time at the club, said Man United have every chance of causing an upset despite believing City are levels above United in terms of quality.

"City are the huge favourites, but they're favourites on paper.

"They've got a better team, squad and manager, they're better at everything.

"Who from the Man United team gets into the Manchester City side? Nobody is the answer to that, it doesn't happen.

"But you have to go and prove it, simple as that, you can't have any sort of complacency, your attitude has to be spot on, you have to perform on the day.

"This is why we all love football so much, because we all know who the best teams are and who the best players are, but that doesn't mean that they win.

"If they did, it would be quite boring.

"So there's always that little bit of jeopardy, and especially in a derby, it makes it that little bit spicier, United will be desperate to stop City.

"The only problem with that is that it means that Liverpool will probably then win the title, so it's a doubled-edged sword for them and they can't really win.

"All they can do is concentrate on themselves, but if the game goes to form, then City should win it comfortably."

  • On the title race

Mills felt his former side could go on another one of their famous end of season sieges to win the Premier League title once again, but said he felt the next few games are crucial.

With United, Liverpool and Arsenal on the horizon for the Citizens, the former full back said the coming weeks will prove vital for Man City.

"If City beat Arsenal and Liverpool then they win the league in my opinion.

"I think the confidence and the belief that would give them would see them kick on from there.

"However, if they lose one or both of those ties, it'll give the others huge belief and opportunity for one of the three to go top and gain a little bit of breathing space.

"Suddenly the belief of beating the champions would help them to realise they can do it, be that Liverpool or Arsenal.

"I think the next four games for all of those clubs will be season defining, the problem is what will happen now is they'll all be draws and we'll be in the same situation in five weeks.

"That would make for a fantastic title race, but I still think City have the strength in depth, Liverpool's injuries are racking up at the moment.

"Arsenal are scoring goals for fun, but let's see how they deal with the real crunch games.

"In my opinion, it's still City's to lose."

  • On the end of the Championship season

Former Leeds star Mills claimed that their late turnaround against Leicester on Friday night to win 3-1 will prove crucial to keeping them in the race for promotion.

The man who made 101 appearances for the Whites suggested that their final game of the season against Southampton could prove crucial for both sides.

He also backed Leicester to be promoted, but suggested Leeds, Southampton and Ipswich will be tough to separate.

"I think Leeds' win against Leicester was a huge result for securing the playoffs first and foremost, but they're also trying to break into that top two.

"It's gong to be very tight up there, Ipswich had their blip and now they'll come on strong, they might play with a bit more freedom and less pressure now.

"Leeds have obviously sneaked into the top two, but forget about winning it, worry about getting into the top two.

"Six points to catch up at this stage of the season is a lot, you'd have to almost go unbeaten, because how many games will Leicester lose between now and the end of the season? More than four is unlikely.

"Realistically, that's what would have to happen for Leeds to catch them, we've seen it happen though.

"The expectation is huge for Leeds now, and the fans will expect them to be in the top two.

"Playing at Elland Road is amazing and one of the best best places in the world to play when you're winning, but when you're goalless or losing at half time, it's difficult.

"It'll all be about who deals with the pressure better."