Sir Alex Ferguson has forgiven Sunderland fans for City's title celebrations
Sir Alex Ferguson has forgiven Sunderland fans for celebrating Man City's title success at the end of last season.
Last Updated: 15/12/12 2:10pm
The teams met on the final day of last season when the Red Devils won 1-0 which, for a few minutes at least, appeared to be good enough to earn United their 20th league title.
However City - who were trailing 1-2 to Queens Park Rangers at the time - scored twice during the final few moments at the Etihad Stadium to wrestle back the crown.
It was City's first title in 44 years as they headed their local rivals on goal difference.
When Sergio Aguero scored City's winning goal, the home fans at the Stadium of Light celebrated gleefully which irritated Ferguson back in May.
And Ferguson explained: "It was disappointing given the number of players we have given them down the years.
"But there was no malice in it and there is no element of revenge.
"Winning the game on Saturday is more important for us given what we achieved last week.
"Now we really need to kick on and make sure we retain our lead at the top of the league."
The hosts will be strongly fancied to beat a Black Cats outfit who have struggled so badly this term and only a home win over Reading on Tuesday allowed Sunderland to scramble out of the bottom three.
However, Ferguson does not believe manager Martin O'Neill deserves the stick he has been getting.
"There was a question asked of Martin last week about whether he still had self-belief that was absolutely ridiculous," said Ferguson.
"This is a guy who won three times in Scotland, reached the UEFA Cup final and League Cup final with Leicester.
"It was an insult to ask him a question like that because he is an outstanding manager."
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