Ferguson and Mancini insist Premier League title not over

By Alistair MagowanBBC Sport at Old Trafford

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson hopes Queens Park Rangers can help his side win the Premier League title, despite Manchester City holding the advantage with one game remaining.

Defending champions United beat Swansea 2-0 on Sunday to move level on points with Roberto Mancini's side, who had earlier beaten Newcastle by the same scoreline.

City now face Mark Hughes' QPR on the final day of the season and if they can match or better United's result against Sunderland, they will win the English title for the first time in 44 years.

QPR are fighting relegation and need a point to be certain of retaining their Premier League status.

Ferguson said: "The whole future of the club could be resting on the game and I only wish Sparky [former United striker and City boss Hughes] was playing.

"Mark knows his job all right. He was sacked by City in a very unethical way and he'll remember that. Mark Hughes' teams always fight but QPR players are fighting for survival."

Hughes said: "It would be a fantastic story if we were able to go there and get something, they are going for titles and we are trying to stay in this league.

"I probably looked at the fixtures when I first got the job and that one loomed quite ominously - but it is upon us now and we have still got an opportunity to stay in the league by our own effort."

City boss Roberto Mancini remains cautious about his side's chances of clinching the title.

"It is not finished. It is important that we get three points next week. We need a big effort - there is one game more," he said.

"QPR will be tough, they are fighting to avoid relegation. Nothing changes. It is ours to lose. It doesn't depend on other teams any more."

Ferguson believes the odds are against United winning a 20th title but intends to fight to the final whistle.

"We've won the title on three occasions on the last day and we don't mind doing it again," he said. "City are red-hot favourites and will want to make sure they win the match.

"The expectation and responsibility of Manchester United players is to win the match. We'll go there optimistic. It won't be easy but we'll have a go."

United had hoped to close the advantage in goal difference held by City - it is eight better than the champions' - with a big win against Swansea, but they could only match their rivals' 2-0 winning margin.

Paul Scholes and Ashley Young scored before the break, but a succession of missed chances means the destination of the title is almost certainly out of their hands.

"I'm satisfied with the enthusiasm of the players, they did well," insisted Ferguson. "It could easily have been one of those days where their heads were down a little bit but they did well with good professionalism. It's a decent result.

"Swansea just killed the game and it is very difficult to get the ball off them."

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