Fergie: Form hasn't been too bad
Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has defended Manchester United's form this season.
- Related Content
The Red Devils head to Reading this evening knowing victory will ensure they are top of the Barclays Premier League when they take on City in the first Manchester derby of the season at the Etihad Stadium on December 8.
Some critics cannot quite believe it, nor that United have a seven-point advantage over third-placed Chelsea, given that their performances at times have been quite poor.
They have gone behind on an incredible 13 occasions and Michael Carrick described Wednesday's win over West Ham as "far from a classic".
However, Ferguson is not joining the criticism.
"I don't think the form has been that bad to be honest," he said.
"But when you are manager of this club, you have to go through that analysis about Manchester United not being as good as they used to be.
"We are still top of the league so we must be doing something right."
And they could soon be boosted by the return of defender Nemanja Vidic.
The United skipper has made just 13 appearances since straining a calf muscle at West Brom in August 2011, which started a chronic run of fitness problems.
In Basle last December, Vidic ruptured cruciate knee ligaments, which ended his entire campaign.
Then, just five matches into the new season, the 31-year-old experienced a tightness around the knee that required him to undergo more surgery, and even raised fears about whether he would ever return to his best.
However, Vidic has been more upbeat about his comeback, indicating at the weekend that he was ready to rejoin first-team training.
And whilst the final decision has been left to the 31-year-old, Ferguson is not ruling out the prospect of Vidic returning for Wednesday's Champions League encounter with CFR Cluj at Old Trafford.
"It would be nice to play him on Wednesday," said Ferguson. "I wouldn't be afraid of that.
"He has returned to training and done all his work but he needs matches."
Vidic will not be involved at the Madejski Stadium this evening, when Ferguson is hoping Wayne Rooney can increase his goals output from his current paltry tally of three.
"Wayne is going through a period like all strikers do, he is not scoring," said Ferguson.
"He has missed bits of games and been off with tonsillitis, and Wayne is the type of player who can't miss games because of the frame he has got.
"If he can contribute to the team's success, fine. But we would rather he scored more obviously."