Ferguson revved up for challenge
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is relishing the prospect of meeting Manchester City head on next season, but warned the City players that they could ruin the club's future if they fail to beat QPR.
United are set to be dislodged from their perch as Premier League champions by City, who many feel will go on to dominate for years to come. Fuelled by the wealth of Sheikh Mansour, City have the resources to sign any player and provided they beat QPR on Sunday they will enter negotiations as winners.
Ferguson is aware of the challenge ahead, but is excited by the prospect of rebuilding at Old Trafford.
"We are certainly not going away, that's for sure," Ferguson said. "We know that there's a challenge and we accept that. We have a lot of young players at the club who will benefit from this season, no matter what happens.
"The disappointment of losing the game [QPR] would be unbelievable," he said. "It's untold what effect it could have on them. A nervous situation could arise if, with 10 or 15 minutes to go, City weren't winning. The crowd could get a bit uneasy.
"City aren't going away. With the money they have to spend, they will obviously go out and buy more players. But you can only buy so many and you can only keep the balance for so long before it disrupts.
"We have our ideas about where we are going in the summer. And I think that we will be ready for the challenge next year. Whether that is as champions or as runners-up, we will be ready for it.
"We have to do something about it, don't we? We have to meet the challenge and it's a good thing for us. We are probably going to lose out this season but there's a lot of young players in the squad. We're not looking as though it's an end of an era.
"In many ways, it is the start for many of the young players here. The challenge is obvious.
"Of course he's [Roberto Mancini] had a big financial advantage but you still have to pick the right players. Trying to orchestrate harmony is very important. City, quality-wise are very similar to Chelsea under Mourinho, I feel. They are very hard to beat and several of their players have had an outstanding season.
"When you win the league, you need five or six players who are consistently good and they have had that. If you buy right there is not a problem but sometimes you don't buy right. It has happened to us, when we maybe bought a player who wasn't suited to us. But in the main, City have bought well."