Sir Alex Ferguson is relishing a busy festive calendar and battling with Manchester City to regain the Premier League title in the New Year.
Manchester United travel to face Swansea City on Sunday six points clear of their rivals, but and Ferguson expects the season to go down to the wire.
And he has no doubt the Red Devils can step up to the challenge and put last year’s final-day disappointment behind them.
“We have every right to expect a challenge,” Ferguson said. “It is what we are good at.
“That’s why I am looking at December as an opportunity to gather points and make sure we are top of the league come New Year’s Day.”
United beat Roberto Mancini’s side earlier this month, thanks to a last-gasp Robin van Persie free kick.
But City bounced back by sinking Newcastle last weekend, a result that Ferguson believed was never in doubt.
“Absolutely. Great. I think it is a wake-up call for us too,” he said.
“Although you see the stats and it’s quite amazing as Newcastle had more passes and shots on goal.
“You watch it yourself and I am saying I can’t see Newcastle winning the game. It is a funny game.”
The veteran boss knows City’s challenge won’t be going away soon, but he also thinks Chelsea should not be discounted.
“We know there is going to be a challenge, it could come from Chelsea too but certainly City and ourselves will be battling it out.”
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