Having come out of retirement half way through the season, Paul Scholes claims his decision to play on in 2012-2013 was entirely dependant on what Sir Alex Ferguson wanted.

“The manager didn’t have to twist my arm to play this season,” said Scholes. “He just said: ‘You’re going to play next year, aren’t you?’ I had no plans either way – whatever the manager wanted me to do that was going to happen.”

Scholes insists that the memory of City winning the league last season will help inspire United to perform at their best this season.

“It wasn’t good, was it?” he said. “It’s always a motivating force when you lose the league. It’s not nice to see another team celebrate winning the title on the last day of the season, and that picture stays with you. For most of the season we were in control, then it got to the Wigan game and we lost that. The Everton game as well was a big disappointment, from 4-2 up to draw 4-4. And obviously we went to City and lost – that was an even bigger disappointment. You always say the best team win the league, and City were the best team last year. I didn’t play at Wigan when we lost but that wasn’t down to me not playing, anything could have happened. But we failed at the end of last season. There is no question we should have won the league. To be fair to City, they closed it out. It didn’t matter who it was: to be in that position, eight points clear with six games to go, it’s not like us. It was a major disappointment to lose the league from there. But we have to look to next year, and if we’re in the same position we’ll have to make sure we finish the job.”