Sir Alex Ferguson is still smarting from Sunday's agonising title defeat to Manchester City but has warned that United will respond next season.
In a passionate declaration of intent, the manager told MUTV that the Reds will continue investing in young players who will continue to form the character of the club. The manner in which United lost the crown to neighbours City may hurt but he retains faith in old heads like Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes and will be adding to the squad this summer.
"Obviously we knew QPR were in front," he admitted. "I said to Mike Phelan, ‘If City equalise, I’m worried they’ll get a big impetus from it.’ And that’s exactly what happened. I think everyone expected City to win and they made it difficult for themselves. Queens Park Rangers performed very well until they knew they were safe. That was disappointing. It’s hard to digest because we played so well at Sunderland. Their keeper made four fantastic saves, we’ve hit the post twice, hit the bar, missed a couple of good chances, we could have scored eight. When it comes down to goal difference, we’ve only ourselves to blame. This club always misses chances. We’re very charitable to our opponents.
“I think we’re disappointed about [losing] the eight-point lead. But I’m not going to have any recriminations for any of my players. They’re a solid bunch of lads, they’re honest, they’ve tried their best. Okay, they’ve made mistakes but there’s a lot of young players who make mistakes and we invest in that. That’s what we’re good at. We’re not like other clubs who can spend fortunes. We invest in players who’ll be with the club for a long time, who’ll create the character of the club, who’ll create excitement for our fans. And we have many players like that. We’re good at that and we’re going to continue that way.
“I think we’re good at it. And there’s an old saying, ‘ if you’re good at something, don’t mend it.’ But we have obviously lots of maturity in the team. I’m sure next season will be Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes’ last season – actually, I’m not so sure about Ryan. He defies age. But it will be probably Paul’s last year. Rio’s 33. But after those three we’ve no issues with age, no issues at all."