Manchester City manager Mark Hughes admits he finds it "amusing" that his club are getting under the skin of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson believes City have become cocky and arrogant following a influx of new money that has allowed Hughes to invest heavily in his squad. United veteran's supremo has also been angered by a poster of Carlos Tevez that stated "Welcome to Manchester" after he switched colours in the summer.
Hughes, who hopes to add to his former boss's displeasure by winning the bragging rights in the derby against Manchester United on Sunday, said: "It does seem to have upset Sir Alex for some reason. We take it as a little bit of flattery because maybe in recent years City have not affected the thinking of Manchester United. Possibly that has changed now."
He added: "I am sure Sir Alex is sick and tired of people sticking a microphone under his nose and asking him about Man City rather than Man Utd. That has not happened in recent years.
"I can understand why he gets a bit irritated by it. That's quite amusing from my point of view."
Hughes dismisses suggestions that City - chasing a fifth successive victory - could become widely unpopular because of their wealth and collective attitude.
Hughes said: "All we are trying to do is make this football club better and stronger. If that irritates people, then we cannot do anything about someone's reaction.
"We try to go about our business in a correct way. Surely everyone must want a challenge from somewhere.
"For too long the top four has been set in stone. Maybe we should be given a little bit of encouragement in that regard.
"When you start winning games and are in a position to be strong people's opinion of you can change. I think with the nature of the football we produce we will gain fans along the way because we try and play in right way as we are attack-minded."
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