Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester City to prepare for a renewed threat from Manchester United next term - even if the Premier League trophy heads across town on Sunday.
Ferguson has admitted United have been left hoping for City to do "something stupid" to allow them to retain their crown. It seems impossible given QPR's chronic away record, even though they are desperate to claim a point at the Etihad Stadium that will ensure top flight survival. Ferguson insists the analysis of the season will not begin until Monday.
However, he is not planning for a lengthy stay in City's shadow. He said: "We are not going away, that's for sure. We know we have a challenge. The important thing is to know you have one. This club has an inbred discipline about what is needed to win a league."
Not that Ferguson is expecting the battle for supremacy to come from anywhere else.
After years of tittering at the Old Firm domination of the Scottish Premier League and, more latterly, how Real Madrid and Barcelona have surged away from their rivals in La Liga, City and United are locked together at the top, fully 19 points clear of third-placed Arsenal.
And Ferguson realises Roberto Mancini will be wanting to strengthen still further in the summer, with Lille's Edin Hazard amongst the stars on both their radars.
"I have said City are not going away," he said. "With the money they have to spend, they will buy more players this summer.
"But you can only buy so many and keep the balance for so long before it disrupts."
Ferguson has already confirmed an intention to maintain his policy of buying younger players, although the likely loss of Paul Pogba to Juventus in the summer is not a positive sign. However, the Scot feels that is the best way to combat City's wealth, which they have come agonisingly close to managing this term.
"It would be our own fault," said Ferguson, when asked about the potential failure this weekend. "But we will analyse things when it is all over."