Former Manchester City goalkeeper Tony Coton feels he helped Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel reach his potential.

Coton's £500,000 move across ­Manchester from City to Manchester United in 1996 prompted an angry fan backlash.

He told the Sunday Mirror: "I never wanted to leave City, but I was one of the players they forced out. Sir Alex Ferguson told me he needed someone to put some ­pressure on Peter ­Schmeichel.

"Kevin Pilkington was a very good ­prospect, but wasn't ready for the first team, and Sir Alex felt he needed a senior keeper who Peter had respect for.

"It was a masterstroke.

"Peter really raised his game. I was there from ­January until the end of the season, and he didn't put a glove wrong. There was one ­Schmeichel ­performance in a big game at Newcastle that was ­absolutely incredible. We won 1-0, reeled in ­Newcastle to win the ­Premier League title, and also lifted the FA Cup. If it can work for Peter ­Schmeichel then it will definitely work for Joe Hart."