Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that the closer his team get to the end of the season, the tougher it will be to cross the finish line and win their 20th Premier League title.

The Red Devils sit 13 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City and will be crowned Premier League champions on Monday night if they defeat Aston Villa at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have stumbled slightly in recent weeks after losing to Manchester City in the Manchester derby, followed by narrow victories against Sunderland and Stoke City, and a 2-2 draw against West Ham.

And Ferguson admits that he expects the difficulty to increase as United approach the finish line. 

“I have the same squad for Monday hopefully, we pick the right team because every game now seems to be more important than the last one," the Scot said in his pre-match press conference.

"When you get nearer that line (of winning the English Premier League) that's the way it is, so I hope we pick the right team."

Ferguson also reserved praise for Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert, stating his admiration for the Villa boss’ work at Villa Park.

“The good thing about that is that young people give you a future," Ferguson added. "By creating that strong blend of youth that can last for a few years.

"Of course the team will get better from that and improve, I'm sure of it. It creates a good loyalty base, young players always remember the manager who gave them his first start. 

"If they were to go down then they have a structure which should bring them right back up, but on the evidence of what we've seen recently, they have every chance of staying up."

United, who lost the 2011/12 league title on the final day of last season by virtue of their inferior goal difference, hope to start the title-winning celebrations with victory over Villa on Monday night. 


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