"I used to say that United fans are like rats: you're only ever three metres away from one of them. And I used to get heckled by United supporters but now I just don't play that far south anymore."
Manford feels the title race is already as good as over despite City rallying from eight points adrift last year.
"Well, it's a bit of an anti-climax now the league is essentially over but the main thing is United can’t win the league in the game against us," he added. "We just have to win it for pride.
"I suppose the weird thing for us City fans now is going into the derby as equals, or even favourites after the last three decades of being the underdog. I remember dreading school on a Monday morning after the derby as a lad but now I look forward to the derbies with excitement rather than fear."
Jason Manford's UK tour, First World Problems, begins in August. Details at www.jasonmanford.com