'We should be winning the title every year,' says Ferdinand

By Chris Wheeler for the Daily Mail

Anyone who thought that knocking Liverpool off their perch would satisfy Sir Alex Ferguson's hunger for success as Manchester United manager clearly was not in the away dressing room at Ewood Park late on Saturday afternoon.

'You can see he's like a kid, like he's just won the League for the first time,' said Patrice Evra, emerging from the champagne-drenched celebrations that followed a 1-1 draw with Blackburn and a record 19th title.

That, in a nutshell, is Ferguson's magic formula. The ability to re-energise himself and re-invent his United teams for a new challenge. Treat every time like the first.

'Like a kid': Every title is like the first for Sir Alex Ferguson

'Like a kid': Every title is like the first for Sir Alex Ferguson

Ryan Giggs may be picking up a champions medal for the 12th time - and Paul Scholes a 10th - but this is a new experience for Antonio Valencia, Javier Hernandez, Chris Smalling and Darron Gibson. It will surely not be the last for them or their irrepressible manager.

The United boss questions whether he ever made that famous comment about Liverpool (he did) but there can be no doubting his achievement in surpassing his great rivals.

Equally, this might not be the most flamboyant team ever to emerge from Old Trafford but they deserve the title for bloody-mindedness and a refusal to relinquish their place at the top of the table.

Nobody epitomises that better than Ferguson. When his side's defeat at Arsenal two weeks ago gave Chelsea hope of retaining the title, he confronted his players and urged them to make one last push for the line. 'The manager put big pressure on us,' said Evra. 'After the defeat at Arsenal, he said, "Do you really not want to win the 19th title? Are you crazy? Now you've got to win it. How many titles are you going to throw away?"

Full of praise: Patrice Evra spoke highly of Ferguson

Full of praise: Patrice Evra spoke highly of Ferguson

'Today it was very important to win otherwise someone would have got the hairdryer! He's given that winning mentality to everyone, that hunger to win. That's Sir Alex Ferguson.

'It's a more collective effort and that's even more satisfying. When Cristiano Ronaldo was here he did a great job but the team were playing for him and maybe people forget that. But since Carlito (Tevez) and Ronny have gone, United look more like a team.

'If you were asked to pick one player this season, I don't think anyone stands out. That's why the credit for winning the title this season goes to the Man United spirit.'

There have been key games along the way. The comeback win at Blackpool, late winners against Bolton and Everton and the decisive victory at home over Chelsea.

But, for Ferguson, the turning point came at Upton Park last month, when United came back from two goals down on one of their least favourite grounds to win 4-2. 'That put the s**ts up a lot of them, me included,' Ferguson said with a smile as he gave a rare post-match audience to media outlets besides Sky and United's in-house station.

Turning point: Man United came from behind to beat West Ham in April

Turning point: Man United came from behind to beat West Ham in April

'I think that hunger will always be there because that's my job. All the players we have produced through the years have had that quality, that hunger.'

This was a game that perhaps summed up United's season, certainly away from home. Brett Emerton capitalised on Tomasz Kuszczak's indecision and a marginal line call to sweep home Martin Olsson's cross, and Olsson could have had another two before Wayne Rooney fired the all-important equaliser from the penalty spot.

It was a difficult decision for Phil Dowd, but Paul Robinson's rash dive at the feet of Hernandez certainly helped to make up the referee's mind. Both sets of players took it in turns to crowd around Dowd and his assistant Andy Halliday before he pointed to the spot.

Hunger: Ferguson has instilled his desire into his players

Hunger: Ferguson has instilled his desire into his players

Not for the first time this season, the United fans broke into a triumphant chorus of 'We'll do what we want' as Fergie raised a two-fisted salute in their direction, and a blow-up doll that was floating around the Darwen End was replaced by a banner declaring: 'Top of the Perch'.

Rio Ferdinand was not even meant to be playing, considering his manager had effectively written him off for the rest of the season with a calf injury in March.

'I always knew it wasn't going to be the case,' said Ferdinand. 'But I think the manager was just saying that to take the pressure off me. He likes the pressure to be on himself rather than the players, which is the sign of a great manager.

'Reaching 19 titles wasn't even on the agenda when I signed for the club nine years ago.

'We should win it every year': Ferdinand loves life at Man United

'We should win it every year': Ferdinand loves life at Man United

'It wasn't even mentioned. I just wanted to win one.'

Job done, that hunger is already stirring inside Ferguson and his players as they look ahead to the Champions League final and beyond. Evra even suggests that defeat against Barcelona at Wembley on May 28 would stain their domestic achievement.

'Of course, losing to Barcelona would spoil it,' said the Frenchman. 'When we lost the final against them two years ago, we won the League and the Carling Cup and the World Club Championship but I was devastated.

'I was frustrated all the time on my holiday. All I could think about was that final. I don't want to repeat that. Now I'm already thinking of next season because the title should always go to United.'

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