Ferdinand: Utd collapse was 'madness'
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has warned rivals Manchester City that there will be no repeat of the "madness" that saw the Red Devils relinquish their Premier League title last season.
In the latter stages of the 2011-12 campagin United boasted an eight-point lead over City, but a poor period of form followed by a dramatic victory for Roberto Mancini's men on the final day saw Sir Alex Ferguson's side fail to defend their crown.
Ferdinand, 33, has admitted to the pain suffered within the Red Devils squad following their late heartbreak, with the centre-back quoted in the Sun as saying: "Fair play to City. You've got to be a good team to win the league, so I wouldn't take anything away from them.
"But if you gave us the last few games of the season and put us in that situation again, it wouldn't happen - it was just madness. That's down to us, though. We take full blame for it and don't look to anyone else."
Ferdinand is hopeful the agony will serve as an incentive to his team-mates, and also act as a lesson learned for the younger members of the squad. He said: "You think to yourself that the young players will learn from last season.
"We would rather have won the league but it's a valuable experience that I'm sure they'll learn from because that feeling in the dressing-room after the Sunderland game isn't one you want too many more times in your career, if any.
"The manager just said, especially to the young players in the dressing-room, to take on board what had just happened and learn from it. I remember when I first came to United and we lost the League Cup final to Liverpool.
" It was my first-ever final and the game just kind of passed me by because it can go that quick. If you don't grasp the moment with both hands, there will be other similar opportunities that go amiss.
"So all through my career I've thought 'That can't happen again' and, when you get those big games, you've got to make sure you're ready and push yourself and your team-mates on as well."