Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told fans to get used to Manchester City competing for trophies.
The Old Trafford boss was talking ahead of the two sides’ clash in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Ferguson had referred to City as ‘noisy neighbours’ in the past but now admits they will regularly be challenging the Red Devils for honours in the years to come.
“The way we and our supporters should look at it is that we may as well get used to it, because they are not going to go away," he told Inside United.
“We played them in a semi-final last year and the year before, we're both in the Europa League this year and now we are facing them in the FA Cup.
“So we have to get used to the fact that City are going to be challenging for competitions along with us.”
United go into the tie off the back of two straight Barclays Premier League defeats, which have seen the Citizens open up a three-point lead at the top.
Roberto Mancini’s side will pose the toughest possible test to halt that losing run when the sides run out at the Etihad Stadium.
However, Ferguson says United’s city rivals should be as concerned with the draw has his side are, while admitted it was a very tough fixture.
“There's every chance we're going to meet at some point, maybe not every year, but on average it's going to be pretty regular," he added.
“It's a hard FA Cup draw for us, but it will be hard for them too.”