Despite last night's disappointing defeat at the DW Stadium, the overall picture of the title chase still looks rather rosy from a Manchester United perspective.

As the reigning Premier League champions prepare to welcome Aston Villa to Old Trafford on Sunday, Sir Alex Ferguson has promised a response from his players following their midweek humbling by Wigan.

Manchester City capitalised on United's slip-up with a comfortable 4-0 victory over West Brom at the Etihad Stadium, closing the gap on the leaders to five points.

With April's clash between the two sides once again looking potentially decisive in the eventual destination of the domestic crown, the Red Devils boss has targeted back-to-back home victories against Villa and in-form Everton, to stay in the driving seat for a record 20th title.

"I think it's important to win our home games now," Ferguson told MUTV. "Obviously we'll improve on tonight's performance. I'm sure of that.

"It's been in a run and it's got us in a position where we have got a chance of winning the league."

Not so long ago, the table looked considerably different, with United chasing their inner city rivals, who boasted a five point advantage at the top as recently as March.

"Back a couple of months ago, City were 1/5 [with the bookmakers] or something like that and we were well behind in terms of goal difference and points," he continued.

"So we must take credit for getting ourselves in the race."

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