How naughty! I can't wait for the derby game this evening, Man U v Man City!
Daniel Taylor - The Guardian News
Sun 26 Jul 2009
Ferguson takes the bait in City campaign
Hughes calls jibes 'a bit of fun between fans'Mark Hughes has admitted Manchester City were deliberately trying to antagonise Manchester United with their now‑infamous Carlos Tevez poster campaign but insisted it was just "a bit of fun" and expressed bemusement about Sir Alex Ferguson's increasingly hostile attacks on the club.From describing City as "all talk" at the time of their takeover to questioning their summer transfer spending, Ferguson has become increasingly outspoken about United's nearest rivals in the last few weeks, culminating in an interview over the weekend in which he branded them a "small club with a small mentality". The United manager was incensed that City had put up a poster in the city centre showing Tevez, his arms outstretched, above the slogan "Welcome to Manchester" – as if he was new to the city."It's City isn't it?
They are a small club with a small mentality," Ferguson retorted. "All they can talk about is Manchester United; they can't get away from it. That arrogance will be rewarded. It is a go at us, that's the one thing it is. They think taking Carlos Tevez away from Manchester United is a triumph. It is poor stuff."Hughes, however, pointed out there was a banner in place at Old Trafford since 2002 to poke fun at the number of years since City last won a trophy. "33 Years" is draped behind the goal at the Stretford End, and has changeable numbers so it can be updated at the end of every year."The poster campaign in Manchester is a bit of fun between the fans," Hughes said. "It is in a similar vein as the banner at Old Trafford which counts the time span since City's last trophy win. We're glad it's got so many people talking."
Privately, Hughes and his staff regard the fact Ferguson has felt compelled to attack City as a sign that he is taking them more seriously this season than he is willing to let on. Ferguson has questioned whether City have a realistic chance of breaking into the Premier League's top four, insisted that Tevez was not worth his £25m transfer fee, and claimed that players had gone to City purely for the money. He also alleged that Emmanuel Adebayor had invited United and Chelsea to sign him before finalising his move to City."Sir Alex Ferguson is a man I hold the utmost respect for and he is fully entitled to his opinion," Hughes responded. "I am very happy with the transfer business Manchester City have conducted this summer, and that the players we have recruited are as excited as I am about the season ahead.