Friday, 6 January 2012

Ferguson Accepts Noisy Neighbours City Are True Rivals

Alex Ferguson has begrudgingly accepted Manchester City are no longer just ``noisy neighbours'' and now provide a clear and present danger to the Reds' hopes of future medals. 

The United boss famously dismissed the Blues as upstarts in the early days of City's project to join the big guns.

But as the two sides gear up for Sunday's FA Cup third round clash, he admits to taking a u-turn on his view.

Having been beaten by the Blues in last season's semi-final and falling behind Roberto Mancini's men in the title race, Ferguson recognizes City are now the main challengers to his own side's dreams of dominance.

And he believes this weekend's cup tie is going to be one of many duels between the two clubs over the next few years.

He said: ``I think the way we and our supporters should look at it is that we may as well get used to playing them because they are not going to go away.

``We played them in a semi-final last year, and the year before. Now we're both in the Europa Cup.


``So we have to get used to the fact that City are going to be challenging for competitions along with us.

``There's every chance we are going to meet at some point - maybe not every year but on average it's going to be pretty regular.''

But despite his insinuated praise for the Blues, Ferguson is still cutting about City's chances of inflicting a third successive defeat on United.

He added: ``It is a hard FA Cup draw for us but it'll be hard for them too.''

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