Football - Ferguson had to go out a winner

Sir Alex Ferguson admits he was desperate "to go out a winner" after being beaten to the Barclays Premier League title by rivals Manchester City last year.

PA Sport

The Manchester United manager, who retires after 26 years of unprecedented success at Old Trafford, explained how important it was to him to leave his post with the club back on top of the pile.

City overturned an eight-point deficit with six games to go before claiming the title in famously dramatic circumstances in the dying seconds of last season and, despite holding a huge advantage this time around, Ferguson admitted it crossed his mind that lightning could strike twice when Sergio Aguero's brilliant solo effort gave the Blues a 2-1 win at Old Trafford last month.

Speaking on stage at the club's end of season awards ceremony, Ferguson told MUTV: "That was an issue when (his wife) Cathy and I chatted about this at Christmas. At that point we had a five (four) point lead and I thought we had a great chance.

"I said 'I really need to go out a winner. We need to win something'. After the disappointment of last season we couldn't take a second one. I was hopeful we'd win it and we did.

"We had a terrific points lead. The problem is when you have a lead and you start to lose a point. When we lost to City in the Monday night game you start to think 'Christ, you can't throw this away'."

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