Rio Ferdinand has admitted that the agony of missing out on the title last season has stuck with him and left him sleepless at night.
In the most dramatic end to any Premier League season Sergio Aguero struck late on for Manchester City against QPR to take Roberto Mancini’s men above Manchester United and demolish the label of ‘noisy neighbours’ for good.
The Manchester United defender admits that the fact that the Red Devils were so close - losing out only on goal difference - was very difficult to take and remained in his head for weeks afterwards.
"At first it was one of those things you couldn't get out of your mind," he told MUTV.
"For the first couple of weeks you're waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what happened and how it could have ended differently.”
But Ferdinand says he and his team-mates will now use the loss as inspiration to work harder and mount a new title challenge in the coming season.
"You don't get over it but you put it to the back of your mind for the few weeks after that. It's hard, though, because you've always got people reminding you about it, whether it's fans of different teams or fans of United.
"But you use that as inspiration for the following season."
The 33-year-old was forced to watch his former England team-mates in Ukraine and Poland after he was overlooked for Roy Hodgson’s Euro 2012 squad and is pleased to be back training after an unusually long break from the game.
"It's nice to be back training," he admitted. "I'm enjoying it. This has been the longest break I've ever had in my career so I was desperate to get back and see the lads and get training.
"That said, me and Giggsy were talking the other day about pre-season and how we remember, when we first started, how it used to be sickening when you came in for the first 10 days or so. The coaches used to beat the life out of your legs.
"Now things are a lot more scientific and a bit easier on the body, even though you're still able to get to the same level of fitness at the right time.
"But it's the games on tour I really enjoy. You get to gauge how far along you are in terms of fitness and what more you need to do. It also helps you get your eye back in, football-wise. We can't wait for the games to come now."Reuse content