Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand says Manchester City fans have come “out of the woodwork”.

City are a point behind Premier League leaders United with nine games to play.

Ferdinand, 33, told BBC Sport: “Walking around in town, you see more and more blue shirts than you probably ever would have seen over the last 10 years.

“But success sometimes brings people out of the woodwork. So fingers crossed we can delay that and make sure that we get this title sewn up this season.”

Earlier in the season, City held a five-point lead over United at the top of the table, but now trail Six Alex Ferguson’s side after a run of form that has seen the Red Devils win eight of their last nine matches.

When asked if the title might hinge on the game between City and United at the Etihad Stadium on 30 April, Ferdinand responded: “Who knows? We’ll have to wait and see. In an ideal world, we’ll have it sewn up by the time we go there.

“But I don’t expect it to be finished by the time we go their stadium.”

“Every game is a cup final now. Every result now is going to sway the title this way or that. If we win the games that we’ve got left, we win the league. But it’s not as easy as that.”

United have won the title on 12 occasions since City last triumphed in 1968, but Ferdinand does not believe that there is an extra edge to United’s preparations though due to their local rivals being their nearest challengers.

“At Manchester United, that edge comes from within,” said the former England captain. “We drive each other on as individuals, as a collective. No matter who we are rivals with for our title, it doesn’t matter really matter.”



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