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Home thoughts: Fergie still reckons Manchester derby will be crucial

Despite the recent contrast in form between United and City, Ferguson said the 30 April clash at Etihad Stadium could still have a huge bearing on the outcome.

Alex Ferguson: still all to play for.
Alex Ferguson: still all to play for.
Image: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

ALEX FERGUSON BELIEVES the derby clash with Manchester City could still determine this season’s league winners.

Despite the recent contrast in form between United and City, Ferguson said the 30 April clash at Etihad Stadium could still have a huge bearing on the outcome.

United have opened up a five-point lead over their city rivals having spent the majority of the season trailing.  Ferguson has dismissed any suggestion that the penultimate match of the season no longer holds the same significance.

“Derby games are always important, and it could be even more important this year,” he told Northern Irish radio station U105.8fm. ”It’s bound to have an impact on the eventual winner, albeit that we’re going into it with a nice healthy lead.”

One of United’s key performers in recent months has been Jonny Evans, who has stepped in to replace the injured Nemanja Vidic to great effect. The Northern Irishman is a long-standing member of the squad but has never been able to hold down a regular slot and his manager praised his recent performances.

“He’s been excellent,” Ferguson said. ”He’s maturing, his form in the last two months with Rio Ferdinand has been absolutely fantastic and that’s really important to have a partnership at the back that’s consistent and playing all the time.”

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