Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson admits losing the title at Sunderland last season did hurt.

Their response has been dramatic and they return to Sunderland with a 15-point lead with just nine games to go.

Boss Ferguson said: "The way it all panned out, we thought we'd won it for about 20 seconds and it was snatched away from us but we've done it many times ourselves and there's no bitterness from me.

"It happens, we move on and this year we've dusted ourselves down and made a real good challenge of the league.

"The concentration and commitment and team spirit has been excellent.

"So, in that respect, we've answered the only way we can.

"We're in an unusual position. We didn't expect to have this kind of lead but we've got to take advantage of that and win our next game.

"That reduces the number of games left and we just have to whittle the games away and see where it takes us."