Ferguson admits games getting tougher
Sir Alex Ferguson admits the closer Manchester United get to winning their 20th English league title the harder the games are getting.
United host Aston Villa on Monday, a team they have lost to only once since 1995.
But a derby defeat to rivals Manchester City and a bruising 2-2 draw at West Ham United in recent weeks suggests the final push towards the title is proving no easy task.
"We maybe could have won it in the last 20 minutes (against West Ham), when we had all the play and one or two chances," Ferguson said.
"But nonetheless we have to be satisfied coming back from being down twice to getting a point.
"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.
"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."
Despite sitting one place above the relegation zone, Ferguson's opposite number, Paul Lambert has persevered with a youthful approach to team selection and the United manager believes it will prove to be a winning formula no matter what happens to Villa in the final five games.
"The good thing about that is that young people give you a future. By creating that strong blend of youth, that can last for a few years," Ferguson said.
"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."
Should City lose at Tottenham on Sunday, United know a win the following day would see them reclaim the crown.