Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson says the title is Manchester United's for the taking. Reuters

Sir Alex Ferguson believes that winning the big games has put Manchester United in the best position possible as the season hits the business end, with the side currently nine points clear at the top of the table.

Ferguson's men have bounced back in the best fashion after losing the title in the final minutes of last season to bitter rivals Manchester City, asserting their position this campaign with enviable winning records.

And after United increased their lead from seven points to nine at the weekend, as City faltered to Liverpool, Ferguson insists that it has been the big wins that have put his squad in such a favourable position.

"[In the league] you hope that the return we've had from the big games is going to be significant," he told Inside United. "We've won at Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and we were 30 seconds away from a really good result at Tottenham.

"All in all we've had a good return from these kinds of games and hopefully they will prove significant at the end of the season.

"You hope that the players realise that the league is there for them [to win]."

United have the extra challenge of facing games in the FA Cup and Champions League, which Roberto Mancini has admitted he is banking on the side losing points in the league as a result of the tough schedule.

But Ferguson is relishing in the big matches coming up for the Red Devils across three competitions, particularly hoping to break their bad luck in the FA Cup.

He explained: "It's obviously a big challenge and we've got the FA Cup and the Champions League as well, and managing the squad is going to be important when it comes to picking the right teams. That's down to myself and the staff.

"It's always an important time. The players have shown great appetite for it - they showed that against Tottenham in the way they fought like hell to get a result and were unlucky it went against them at the end. But we're definitely in the right shape.

"We've got players back from injury, which is important, and I usually find that during the second half of the season when the big games come along everyone is fit," he said.

"We haven't had a great run in the FA Cup for the last few years and haven't been in the final for nearly six years, that's a big attraction for us and this month we have the first game against Real Madrid, which is going to be a highlight."