Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has derided Patrick Veira's assertion that Paul Scholes' return is a sign of desperation and warned Manchester City he has "plenty of ammunition" if they want to play mind games.
Earlier this week, former City and Arsenal midfielder Veira claimed the decision to bring Scholes out of retirement showed the lack of depth in United's current playing staff.
"For him [Scholes] to come back just shows a little bit of weakness in United, because they had to bring a player back who was 37," Veira told the Telegraph.
Manchester United have won eight Premier League games and drawn one since Scholes returned, overhauling City at the top of the Premier League. And Ferguson warned Roberto Mancini's side that, when it comes to psychological tricks, he remains the game's premier exponent.
"If it's desperation bringing the best midfielder in Britain back for the last 20 years then I think we can accept that," Ferguson is quoted in the Daily Mail.
"I think he [Veira] was programmed for that. Roberto had a wee dig a couple of weeks back. We're all going to play our hand that way. There will be plenty of ammunition for that.
"If you talk about desperation, they [Manchester City] played a player the other night who refused to go on the pitch, the manager said he'd never play again and he takes a five-month holiday in Argentina. What is that? Could that come under the description of desperation?"
Tevez made his first return for City in Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Chelsea and set up Samir Nasri's 85th minute winner. But Ferguson refused to accept that using Scholes was an act of desperation by United.
"He's useless," Ferguson added jokingly. "What he does is he can dictate the tempo of a match. That experience helps, of course, and he has a terrific football brain which helps him.
"The amazing thing is he made the decision [to retire] at the time simply because he didn't want to play 25 games. He wanted to play 50 games, that's the reason he wanted to retire.
"I said to him at the time, you can play 25 games no problem but he didn't want that. He felt he didn't have enough appreciation but what I was trying to do was look at it sensibly and what you can get out of a 37 year-old."
And the veteran midfielder is reportedly weighing up an offer from United to extend his comeback into next season, according to the Daily Mail.
The former England international will be offered a one-year contract under the same conditions as team-mate Ryan Giggs was provided in February.