Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says he is "thriving" on the competition from Monday's opponents Manchester City.

As he takes his team away for a short break to fill a "long weekend", all fit and ready for action with the exception of Nemanja Vidic, Darren Fletcher and Anderson, the United manager is acutely aware the only thing that matters is how his side perform for 90 minutes on Monday night.

"I don't know if I thrive on it but I am up for it," he said. "I am prepared for it and my players will be prepared for it.

"The previous games are irrelevant.

"We have played three times this year, the Community Shield, the FA Cup and the league game at Old Trafford. It doesn't matter now.

"The past is the past. It is all down to Monday."