Rio Ferdinand is adamant Manchester United will return next season to reclaim the Barclays Premier League title.
Despite his obvious disappointment at losing the league to Manchester City in such dramatic fashion, the United defender fronted up to Sky Sports at the final whistle to offer his congratulations to the Blues... and issue a warning to Roberto Mancini's men.
"It's a cruel way to have lost it," he said. "But you have to congratulate the other team. Any team that wins it obviously deserves it and they have played well throughout the season. It's now about us dusting ourselves down and winning the title back next season.
"This year we've had to use our squad to the maximum and that bodes well for the future. That's one positive we can take from this. I don't think any other team could have coped the way we have."
There was drama in Sunderland at the final whistle as United players ended the game in a position to lift the trophy. Seconds later, however, Sergio Aguero's goal at the Etihad Stadium secured a dramatic victory for Manchester City and, more significantly, their first Premier League title.
"I got the word during the game that City had scored to make it 2-2," Rio said. "Then, after our game finished, it went flat and silent, with everyone waiting. The cheers from the home supporters let us know City had scored and the title had gone to them. It's disappointing."