Ferguson warns Mancini over mind games

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester City counterpart Roberto Mancini against playing mind games in the Premier League title run-in.

Despite the gap between the two being cut to five points following United's defeat to Wigan Athletic, and City's win over West Bromwich Albion, Mancini has insisted that the title race is still over.

However, the Scot has dished out a warning to the Italian, promising that mind games will get him know-where during the business end of the season.

"From the position of a few months ago to where we are today, we have to be delighted," Ferguson said.

"Sunday is very important and we must get back on track. A great thing about our club is we do recover and we have to do that again. We were disappointed to lose but we have to put it into perspective. In the Treble year [1999] we went through the whole season from December without losing.

"A couple of years back we lost 4-1 at home to Liverpool and won the league by nine points.

"I think he has maybe picked the wrong time to say it - there are still five games to go," Ferguson added.

"The Premier League is fascinating. Our experience will help us and Sunday's game is the one to focus on."

After being rested for the trip to the DW Stadium on Wednesday, Paul Scholes is likely to return to the first-team for the visit of Aston Villa this weekend.

United felt the loss of Scholes during their defeat to Wigan, with the 37-year-old's control in midfield, a valuable asset in United's New Year form, badly missed.

"We did the right thing resting Paul Scholes - he'll play on Sunday. He's shown his influence since he came back," Ferguson said.

While Michael Owen and Anderson continue to sit out, Ferguson is expected to have a fully fit squad to choose from come Sunday.

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