Ferguson thriving on derby rivalry by adilkhan1234


									Sir Alex Ferguson believes that you would have to be a masochist to
actually enjoy Monday's title-deciding derby - but he admits to enjoying
the occasion.
Whilst Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has been attempting to play
down the chances of his side ending the season as Premier League
champions, Ferguson is happy to talk up the pressure.
After all, he is the one who boasts all the championship-winning
experience in his squad, who have so many big games under their belts.
However, that engagement with the task should not be mistaken for
relishing the intensity of a situation United created for themselves when
they threw away that two-goal advantage against Everton on Sunday, and in
the process allowed City to creep within striking distance.
"I am a confirmed masochist," said Ferguson.
"I enjoyed it (situations like this) about 26 years ago.
"When the fixtures came out at the beginning of the season, it all
pointed to this game. It was inevitable I suppose. In the context of our
history, we almost expected it.
"Our supporters have been subjected to that drama for years and years.
God knows what they are like just now."
It is true that United tend to make life hard for themselves.
That epic 1999 Champions League final victory is the most obvious example
but there are plenty of other instances down the years where the Red
Devils have staggered over the line after initially appearing to saunter
towards it.
There is one clear advantage this time around, which could be vital.
They do not actually have to win.
"We know the exact situation we are in here," said Ferguson.
"We are in a better position than Manchester City.
"We can get two results, they can only get one.
"They have to win. We can draw or we can win, although you know my
attitude and the club's attitude. We will be trying to win."
What is now being billed as the most important Manchester derby of all is
the latest in a succession of fixtures between the red and blue halves of
a divided city which seem to have increased in intensity on every
Starting with that memorable Michael Owen injury time winner, there have
been two semi-finals which yielded one victory apiece, Wayne Rooney's
magnificent winner at Old Trafford last season, United just holding off a
rampant 10-man City to claim an FA Cup third round triumph at the Etihad
Stadium earlier this season, and, of course, the Blues' magnificent 6-1
win last October.
"We have to get used to playing Manchester City in important games," said
"They are not going away. 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 and 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 but there is certainly an importance
which, at this moment in time, supercedes 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
Yet, for all that, Ferguson accepts what has gone before is of no
As he takes his team away for a short break to fill a "long weekend", all
fit and ready for action with the exception of Nemanja Vidic, Darren
Fletcher and Anderson, the United manager is acutely aware the only thing
that matters is how his side perform for 90 minutes on Monday night.
"I don't know if I thrive on it but I am up for it," he said.
"I am prepared for it and my players will be prepared for it.
"The previous games are irrelevant.
"We have played three times this year, the Community Shield, the FA Cup
and the league game at Old Trafford. It doesn't matter now.
"The past is the past. It is all down to Monday."

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