Ferguson wants to see Man Utd step up a gear

Sir Alex Ferguson has called for his Manchester United players to push on in their quest to regain the Premier League title as the season heads into the crucial festive period, the BBC has reported.

United currently top the table by a point from local rivals and defending champions Manchester City, having ended last season level on points with Roberto Mancini’s side. City beat United to the title by the fine margin of an eight-goal difference in their respective final goal difference tallies, the first time in more than 40 years the blue half of the city could lift the championship.

With international football now on a winter hiatus and the end of the Champions League group stage in sight, Ferguson believes the next few weeks will prove vital in United either maintaining their narrow advantage over their title rivals, or giving up top spot.

United maintained their edge on Wednesday evening by virtue of a 1-0 win over West Ham United, Robin van Persie scoring the only goal of the game after little more than 30 seconds. At the same time, City were beating Wigan Athletic 2-0.

Ferguson said: “With no international football and our last [Champions League] group game next Wednesday, it gives us a further chance to concentrate on the league.

We’re coming to a really important time in the season where our defending, if it improves, will give us a great chance.

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