Ferguson wary of City motives
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is trying to work out whether Manchester City are actively trying to lure him into a war of words.
Last week, Ferguson responded to a jibe from City's football development executive Patrick Vieira about Paul Scholes' retirement U-turn being an act of desperation by calling Roberto Mancini's decision to select Carlos Tevez exactly the same thing.
Yet Vieira has since argued the Red Devils are one of the 'big clubs' who benefit from refereeing decisions, leaving Ferguson to admit: "I'm trying to analyse that. I am not sure. I mean, he's more or less saying all the referees have been wrong this season and, being an official, you are not supposed to discuss referees."
Vieira and City have expressed their disapproval at how the former France midfielder's comments were reported, while Vieira's additional point was that City "deserved" to win the title because they had played the best football.
To a point, it is an assessment Ferguson accepts, apart from the rather fundamental point that what has happened in the past is largely irrelevant given it is his side that presently has a three-point advantage.
"They were playing great football in the first half of the season," said Ferguson.
"Everyone recognised that and we felt the brunt of it too when they beat us 6-1 here. But a season lasts for a bit longer than three months."
United know that if they win all their remaining games, it will only take a draw in the derby clash with City on April 30 for them to retain their crown.