So long the second team in Manchester, Lake, a City fan who spent his entire career at the club, believes Ferguson's departure provides them with a chance to overtake United.
"I would suggest everyone will see it as a chance to establish ourselves," he said.
"We are planning for next season at the same time as what we're doing now. Yes, Sir Alex is going to pass that mantle over to somebody. They will have a fantastic squad of players enriched with success and that mindset - these guys are going to feel 10 foot tall whoever comes in.
"But we've also experienced that and now know what it takes. We've got that experience under our belts.
"It could be a very pivotal moment in the power struggle in Manchester but nothing is taken for granted.
"We've got to bring in different players and there are those that are going to be offloaded.
"We are building now to regain that title so it could be pivotal but whoever takes that role will still have the guidance and that person to steer them that is one of the greatest managers ever.
"The challenge is ours but it could be a great moment for us to really turn the screw."