United are four points better off than they were at this stage last season, while City are eight points worse off. Proof, the United boss claimed, of his side's growth and how much Roberto Mancini's side have regressed.
"We've improved," said Ferguson. "That's been the difficulty for City.
"Even if their points tally was as good as it was this time last season, it wouldn't have matched ours anyway.
"So you have to give us credit for that. 25 wins out of 30 shows the conviction of the players' performance.
"The way we lost the title last season resonated with a lot of people in the club. The only thing you can do after that kind of thing is do better.
"That's what the players did. They've been focused, their team spirit has been terrific and there was a definite sense of purpose in terms of getting the title back.
"The important thing is the ability to recover and they've shown that. The players have achieved a lot this season.
"Their approach to winning the next match has been very positive."