Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that rivals Manchester City’s title charge is not a one-off, and that the Red Devils can expect stiff competition from the Etihad Stadium outfit for many years to come.
The local rivals play on Monday night in what will be a key fixture in deciding this season Premier League champions, with the Old Trafford outfit currently three points ahead at the top with three games remaining.
Ferguson feels that City’s challenge will be one that United will face every year, and that their rivals are in it for the long run.
“We have to get used to playing Manchester City in important games. They are not going away,” he confessed to Sky Sports.
“The support they have means we are going to be playing them in a lot of big games. Finals maybe, we already have done in semi-finals, an important cup tie this season.
“If we are going to be contesting for league titles regularly – and I think we will be doing – it will become just as important as the Liverpool game.
“Maybe not in terms of emotion because the Liverpool-United games are emotional.
“But there is certainly an importance which, at this moment in time, supersedes the Liverpool games.
“They are our direct opponents now. Manchester City are up against us to win titles. That is what our focus is on, the team who can stop us winning,” he concluded.
By Gareth McKnight