Sir Bobby Charlton has attributed Manchester United's transformation this season to the influence of Sir Alex Ferguson, as the Red Devils edge ever closer towards a 20th league crown.

United were perhaps at their lowest ebb for a number of years when they were drubbed 6-1 at home by Manchester City last October, as the latter made the early running in the race for the title.

Roberto Mancini's side had reigned supreme in the Premier League for a number of months and, as late as March, had enjoyed a lead of five points over United.

Yet, following a succession of injuries to key players, United managed to claw their way back into contention, and now have a superior points tally by five with only four games of the season remaining.

Mancini has already conceded the title race to his experienced counterpart, and Charlton believes the United boss deserves more credit than anyone else, should the 19-time champions add another trophy to their collection.

"So much credit has to go to Alex and his coaches for having United involved in the title race again this season," wrote Charlton in his United Review column.

"At the start of every campaign you want to avoid injuries and suspensions, and United have had such incredible misfortune with injuries that it's really staggering to be in the position we're in.

"There's been so much said about Alex - especially this season, with him passing his 25th anniversary with the club - that it's hard to add anything new. He's just marvellous, and the way he lifts everyone around him is incredible.

"The best example of that is in the reaction to City's 6-1 win at Old Trafford earlier this season. It shocked everybody associated with the club and it's certainly something you hope will never happen again.

"There's a part of you that would like to set the record straight with a similar win one day. But to come back from that result so strongly speaks volumes for how influential he is."

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