Ferguson: Advantage to Manchester City
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists there is no need to panic after his side's 3-0 loss to Newcastle, but does admit Premier League title rivals Manchester City are now in the box seat.
Ferguson watched on as United were kept three points behind City in the league table, after Roberto Mancini's side cruised to a home victory over Liverpool on Tuesday. However, the Scot is remaining calm despite a second successive league defeat.
"Advantage to them [City] of course," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "They played yesterday and got the three points, and we played today and didn't manage to win - so of course they have the advantage. It's not a time to panic - we have the experience to cope with that.
"Losing a game at this time of the year, you don't want it, but it sometimes can happen - you have seen some of the results recently. But obviously, we need to get the show on the road in terms of the run-in, particularly in March and April."
Ferguson also conceded that Newcastle striker Demba Ba was too much of a "handful" for his side. Ba got the ball rolling as Alan Pardew's side claimed the victory, punishing Rio Ferdinand for some sloppy defending as he volleyed past Anders Lindegaard.
Strike partner Shola Ameobi also played a key role in the build-up to the goal - flicking on Tim Krul's deep free-kick - and Ferguson acknowledged after the game that the two powerful strikers had caused his side huge problems, before Yohan Cabaye's free-kick extinguished their hopes of coming away with something.
"They are very strong, big aggressive lads," Ferguson said. "They didn't tear us apart but they were a handful.
"The story of the game was they had two fantastic strikes which put them in the driving seat. The second one was a killer for us, it was a marvellous strike.
"But we didn't make enough of our possession of the ball anyway. It was one of those nights."