Sir Alex Ferguson has urged former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen to be more careful with his words, after taking offence to the BBC pundit's recent comments about Manchester United.
Ferguson, was left angered by Hansen's recent claim that United have not impressed for the past 18 months, with the Scot expressing his outrage in the matchday programme for Stoke's visit to Old Trafford on Tuesday.
It is believed United officials have contacted the BBC to point out Hansen's offending words, which included the statement: "By their own standards, United have been woeful for the past 18 months. I can't recall Sir Alex Ferguson's team being so bad for two successive seasons.''
Hansen, who won eight league titles and three European Cup during a 14-year career with Liverpool, has since tried to defend himself, the former Scotland international insisting that his words were not meant as an insult and that he believes United are the team to beat in this season's Premier league title race.
However, that did not appease Ferguson, who returned to the topic in his Friday press conference ahead of Sunday's crunch class with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
"He tried to change it [what he said] by saying it was about our away form,'' Ferguson said. "I have read the transcript of what he said and he said we were woeful for the last year and a half. He didn't mention away games. He's dug himself a grave really.''
Ferguson is convinced Hansen made his comments in a direct attempt to rile United ahead of last week's FA Cup tie with Liverpool at Anfield last weekend.
"He's got a responsible position in the role he has in football [as a pundit on the BBC's Match of the Day TV programme],'' Ferguson said. "It's obvious to me that he said what he said in the week before we played Liverpool and I can understand that - he's a former Liverpool player and Kenny (Dalglish) is his pal.
"That's no problem with me. He's maybe tried to shake things up a bit but he should be more responsible really. When you think about it we won the league by nine points last season, made it to a European final and were in the FA Cup semi-final - we couldn't have been that woeful.''