Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini ramped up the pressure on Liverpool ahead of the first leg of their Carling Cup tie by being critical of their handling of the Luis Suarez racism case.
Mancini believes Suarez was right to apologise for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, but feels Liverpool made a mistake in their support of the striker.
Mancini questioned his counterpart Kenny Dalglish and the Liverpool players for wearing T-shirts in support of Suarez after the verdict was handed down.
He also believed the Uruguayan who is serving an eight-match ban should have apologised immediately.
Suarez issued a general apology on January 5, but did not say sorry to Evra in his statement.
"Sometimes a situation like this can happen on the pitch but it is important to apologise for what you did. Sometimes, on the pitch, you can do something you don't want to, because you are nervous, because you don't think. Everything can happen because you don't think, because you are tired, because you are stupid, you are young; for many reasons.
"I don't think Suarez is a racist. But I think he made a mistake, probably, yes.
"Everyone can make a mistake sometimes. It is impossible that we are always perfect and, after that, it is important to say: 'I am sorry, I made a mistake, I apologise for this' and accept the charge."
Liverpool have been heavily criticised for their strong backing of Suarez and their handling of the matter.
But the Italian also wanted to focus on defeating Liverpool, as both teams aim to reach the Carling Cup final and earn the chance to secure a first trophy of the season.
"If we win the Carling Cup it is another trophy for us," Mancini said in The Sun. "We are not United, we are not Chelsea, we need to win everything.
"If we go to the final, it will be very important for the rest of the season.
"Maybe it is the last trophy (in importance), because of the Premier League, the FA Cup. But when you are there you want to win."