"I don't think we should look at our position in terms of being 12 points clear. What matters is winning on Sunday and we need to do that. As we always do, we should just try to do our best. We have a job to do on Sunday and we need to do it."
The boss doesn't accept the view that Manchester City deserved to win Monday's top-of-the-table clash at Old Trafford.
"It's always disappointing to lose a derby," he conceded at his press conference. "There was nothing in it between the two teams.
"Possession-wise, they were better in the first half and we were better in the second half but lost two bad goals and you can't do that in derby games. It was a fantastic derby in the sense of the intensity.
"The start of the game was absolutely brilliant. Both teams went for it and it was end-to-end. Both had half-chances of sorts but it ended up that Joe Hart had the only save in the match to make. There was only one save in the whole match between the two goalkeepers. That gives you an idea about how close the game was."
"I don't think we should look at our position in terms of being 12 points clear. What matters is winning on Sunday and we need to do that."
- Sir Alex Ferguson, speaking at the pre-Stoke press conference