Last season at Old Trafford, the Red Devils were pummelled 6-1 by City who went on to take the Premier League title by goal difference on the final day of the season.
On Monday night, United go into the match leading the league by 15 points and Ferguson has made it clear that no mistakes will be made as he tries to win the club its 20th league title.
"We threw it away. We committed suicide," he said of last season's meeting.
"We were the better team until they scored right on half-time. Then we had a man sent off just after half-time and we still kept chasing the game. That was us playing with the history books instead of our brains. It will be different this time."
He added: "Any United player being involved in that game last year would have to feel it.
"We have had experience like that before against Liverpool when (Ryan) Giggs, (Paul) Scholes and (David) Beckham were signing autographs for their fans, who immediately tore them up in front of them.
"Those things stick in your mind. The way we lost it definitely resonates with a lot of people in the club. The only way you can get over that kind of thing is to be better.
"There was a definite purpose about them in terms of getting the title back, particularly to take it back off City."