3:05pm Thursday 26th April 2012
© Press Association 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted you would have to be "a confirmed masochist" to enjoy the intensity of Monday's Manchester derby - but claims to be looking forward to it anyway.
Once again, the Manchester United boss has billed the visit to Manchester City as a Barclays Premier League title decider, with United three points ahead of their rivals going into the match.
"You would have to be a confirmed masochist to enjoy it," he said. "But we are looking forward to it and the players will be fully prepared for it."
Even on Sunday, after his team had won at Wolves to reduce the gap to three points and ensured they will go top if they win, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini continued to insist United had won the title.
Ferguson accepts there may have been an element of Mancini taking the pressure off his side.
He added: "Maybe he is trying to take pressure off his own players. But it doesn't matter. It is not going to affect our approach or attitude to the game. We know the exact situation we are in here.
"We are in a better position than Manchester City. We can get two results, they can only get one. They have to win. We can draw or we can win, which is what we will be trying to do."
Ferguson reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the match, which has been billed as a game of huge significance since the fixtures were first revealed last summer.
"It was inevitable I suppose," he said.
"It is all down to this game. There will be a considerable number of countries watching it, so I hope it lives up to the billing."
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