In anticipation of tomorrow’s Manchester derby here is a round up of all the pre-match talk from the United camp. See what Sir Alex Ferguson, Rio Ferdinand and Nani have to say below:
Sir Alex Ferguson
There will still be a great intensity about the game. It will be shown all over the world. That does seep into the fabric of what the game will be like for both teams. You can’t dismiss that. It’ll be a big game for City – they’ll want to come and derail us for a spell. I can understand their motivation – we’d probably have the same thing.
It’s a derby game with a difference from years ago. It’s far more important. We have to get used to playing Manchester City in big games.
He (van Persie) doesn’t need a rest that’s for sure, he’s a strong lad with great physique. The goals will come, all strikers have dry spells and you hope it ends quickly, it’s part of being a striker.
Wayne and Rafa have started training which is good news. We hope they will be fine by Monday. Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic are not there yet but hopefully they will start tomorrow (Friday) or Saturday morning.
It is just about winning. If anything comes after that then great. If you win the league before the end of the season you can set other targets. For me personally we need to get the trophy first, then you can think of all the other stuff that goes on around it.
We are not any hungrier because of what happened last season. This is just the way we are. The mentality of this club, driven by the manager, is that you have to win and you have to be challenging for every single competition you go in for. That has been the case since I have been here and will never change. This club, the manager, the management team he has behind him, and the players and the fans demand that.
Everything gets put aside in a derby game. We have to make sure we put pressure on them, make sure they know they have been in a really tough game and will be disappointed at the end because we have won. At the beginning of the season we were playing open, expansive football, which I am sure was good for the fans to watch. But, being a defender, my first instinct is to defend and keep clean sheets and we weren’t able to do that.
We addressed it. That is the most pleasing point. And now we are benefiting from it. If you are going to win titles you have to be able to win in a lot of different ways. You have to be able to win ugly and by playing great fluid football. More often than not, it is the teams who can do that who will win the league.
I think everyone has been a bit disappointed and a bit down after that day [at Stamford Bridge]. Everyone expected a good result but that’s football and we already spoke all together with the manager. We know we still have a job to do and have to focus on the next games and try to forget that.
This season has been a bit disappointing for me as I’ve had a couple of injuries. It’s been very difficult to be at my best but I’ve come back from injury and am trying to be at my best until the finish of the season. I hope that, next season, I can do what I like to do – play my football and be at my best.
It means a lot because I’ve been saying in the past that what you learn at this club is the mentality to always win every competition and the most important is the Premier League. So what happened last year made us very focused on this league for this year. I think we’ve been doing a very good job to be in this position and we want to win the league and make history for this club again.