Sir Alex Ferguson believes the Premier League title will not be decided until the very end of the season as Manchester United battle rivals City for the crown.
Ferguson's men have opened up a four-point gap on top of the table following their 5-0 thrashing of Wolves on Sunday.
City, meanwhile, face Chelsea on Wednesday evening in what could be a season-defining clash for both clubs. Regardless of the outcome, Ferguson says United are prepared to go the distance.
"I expect it to go to the wire, always hope for the best and expect the worst," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "There are only nine games left now, it is just a matter of games getting cut off one by one and hopefully we achieve what we want to achieve.
"What's significant today is it's reduced the goal difference by five goals and that's down to three now and it may make a difference at the end of the season."
After the impressive win at Molineux, Ferguson challenged City to match their feat this week, suggesting Chelsea under interim boss Roberto Di Matteo will pose stiff opposition to Roberto Mancini's side.
"[City] have a big game on Wednesday," said Ferguson. "Chelsea are back to form. It will be really interesting."