Fergie: United buoyed by title revenge
Sir Alex Ferguson admits Manchester United's ruthless attempt at reclaiming the Premier League title has been aided by the disappointment of last season's final day scenes at the Stadium of Light.
United scraped a 1-0 win over Sunderland but were trumped to the title after Manchester City's win over QPR and the scene of Black Cats fans celebrating his side's failures has remained a vivid memory for Ferguson.
The United boss has compared the experience to the 1991-92 season when the Red Devils conceded the league title to Leeds after a 2-0 defeat at Anfield.
Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and David Beckham were mobbed by Liverpool fans asking for autographs, only for the supporters to tear the papers up in front of the players.
Ferguson insists United were keen to avoid humiliation once more and have had added motivation in reclaiming the title from their city rivals.
"Any United player being involved in that game last year [at Sunderland] would have to feel it," Ferguson said. "We have had experience like that before against Liverpool when Giggs, Scholes and Beckham were signing autographs for their fans, who immediately tore them up in front of them.
"Those things stick in your mind. The way we lost it definitely resonates with a lot of people in the club. The only way you can get over that kind of thing is to be better. There was a definite purpose about them in terms of getting the title back, particularly to take it back off City."
Manchester City travel to Old Trafford on Monday night for the first time since their historic 6-1 derby win last season and Ferguson has refused to watch a replay of what he described as the "worst day ever".
"No. Why would I?" he said. "I am not into self-flagellation. It happened. We threw it away. We committed suicide.
"We were the better team until they scored right on half-time. Then we had a man sent off just after half-time and we still kept chasing the game. That was us playing with the history books instead of their brains. It will be different this time."
Information from the Press Association was used in this report.