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Ferguson vows to contain newly enriched Man City

Ferguson vows to contain newly enriched Man City

Manchester City's aspirations of global stardom do not concern Alex Ferguson, who just reflects on his 22 years as manager of Manchester United to remind himself that no obstacle is too big to be overcome.
While City has been flaunting its financial potency since new owners took over in September, the 66-year-old Ferguson just looks at containing his crosstown rival, managed by former United star Mark Hughes, as another challenge.
A victory in Sunday's Manchester derby would show that City hasn't been transformed just by breaking the British transfer record to sign Brazil forward Robinho in September. City, which hasn't won the title since 1968, is still eight points adrift of third-place United despite beating Arsenal 3-0 last weekend.
"There may be a different focus this time with the prospect Mark Hughes has got of money available and buying so many players in January, but that doesn't change our side of it or how we approach the match," Ferguson said Thursday. "And what level are they at at the moment? At this moment, it is still Chelsea and Liverpool sitting above us."
Just like he ended Liverpool's supremacy of the 1970s and 80s, Ferguson re-established United's might over Chelsea despite the threat Roman Abramovich's wealth posed in 2003.
After winning back-to-back titles, United has beaten Chelsea to the last two, plus a memorable victory in the Champions League final.
"Abramovich came in and bought all those players that summer and they won the league in the next two years," Ferguson said. "It was an immediate impact and what we had to do was sit back and accept this challenge.
"The one thing you can say about this club is that it can accept a challenge and do something about it and we had to do something about it or we would be second for ever more. We accepted it and fortunately we have won the last two league titles."
Just splurging cash on the world's best players _ as City is capable of doing _ doesn't automatically create a title-winning side.
"In the case of Chelsea the money has worked," Ferguson said. "Their success rate has been good and they have kept up the top all the time. They are not spending money the way they did when they first came onto the scene and they have built up a very strong squad of players with very experienced internationals and they've coped with the situation very well.
"In some cases that doesn't work."
Under former manager Sven-Goran Eriksson, City enjoyed a rare double triumph over United last season _ before Thaksin Shinawatra was forced to sell out to Abu Dhabi United.
"We were unlucky in the derbies last season," Ferguson said. "You always hope in the big games that you have a shade of luck and we didn't have that last year. Perhaps that will come on Sunday."
Striker Wayne Rooney, who missed both losses against City last season, is gunning for revenge to reassert United's power.
"Even though we did win two trophies last season, losing both games was extremely disappointing," Rooney said. "It is a massive game for the players, the fans and the club _ especially after what has happened at City with the takeover.
"It will be nice to show them who are the kings of Manchester," Rooney added. "It doesn't irritate us that City are getting all this publicity. If they were winning trophies it would irritate me, but while they are still lingering in mid-table I am not really too bothered about it."


Updated : 2021-10-25 02:32 GMT+08:00