Mancini made the observation last weekend as he assessed the state of a title race that subsequently saw victories for both United and Manchester City that maintained the status quo with 11 games remaining.
The City manager's argument is that United, whilst deserving of their top-of-the-table status, were not so superior to his own side they were worthy of such an imposing advantage that surely will be impossible to claw back.
It was an observation Ferguson countered immediately.
"We're dead lucky," said the Scot, with more than a hint of sarcasm.
"We have only been doing it for 25 years. It is a terrible habit.
"Maybe he (Mancini) is lucky they are only 12 points behind."
It was Ferguson in one of his jocular moods, although it did not lead to words of sympathy for old adversary Rafael Benitez over his plight at Chelsea, which the Scot preferred to stay out of.
"I am not getting into that," he said.
Ferguson was willing to elaborate slightly on comments made to a magazine that he might eventually end up on the United board when he decides to end his stellar career.
In an extensive interview with twentyfour7, Ferguson outlined his plan.
"There's no getting rid of me. I will probably become a director," he said.
"Nobody knows. Neither do I. It won't be a doctor that tells me to quit."
Speaking to the wider media, Ferguson expanded on his theory, arguing that the Red Devils are working towards what he believes is the "brilliant" Bayern Munich model by installing Sir Bobby Charlton as a director and a number of former players, including Peter Schmeichel, Bryan Robson and Gary Neville as ambassadors.
"That's a long time away (being a director at the club), I hope," he said.
"The role Bobby Charlton has played at the club has been fantastic.
"Bayern Munich is the perfect model. In the past Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Uli Hoeness have run the club, then Christian Nerlinger stepped up.
"There is a foundation of knowledge about how Bayern Munich are always successful.
"That is good. It is no problem having a replica of that for this club. It's a role we should be using as well."
Ferguson's comments underline the fact he has no imminent retirement plans, even though his next Premier League title would be his 13th and that, at 71, he will have to get used to a new chief executive in the summer when David Gill steps aside.
None of this seems to bother him though.
Indeed, he is adamant the focus is purely on Saturday's clash with Norwich rather than Tuesday's mouthwatering encounter with Real Madrid.
"Tomorrow [Saturday] is the important one for us," he said.
"Tuesday will look after itself. That is an occasion whereas tomorrow [Saturday] is the mundane, practical situation - we need to win."
In the past, Ferguson has spoken of the added momentum United gained in their 1999 Treble-winning campaign purely because Arsenal were such fiesty competitors.
With City so far adrift, the determination has to come from within.
But if Ferguson is to be believed, that will not be an issue.
"The league games are even more important because we don't want to surrender our lead," he said.
"We don't want to give our immediate opponents an advantage.
"That accentuates it more for me and is why I place so much importance on Norwich.
"The similarities to 1999 are that our cup run was a really hard one, as were our European ties.
"We were in a group with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, then we got a quarter-final against Inter Milan and a semi-final against Juventus. This year the group stage was okay but we got Real Madrid straight up.
"In the FA Cup we have had Premier League teams all the time which we also experienced in 1999."