Mancini: City are ready to claim first trophy in 35 years
"He now knows that we are a big club because he is a very clever man. He understands football very well. He knows that Manchester City has changed a lot over the last year"
Roberto Mancini Quotes of the week
Manchester City edged past United in the recent FA Cup semi-finals and now stand on the verge of claiming their first trophy in 35 years.
During Ferguson's 25-year tenure in charge at Old Trafford, he has highlighted Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea as their greatest rivals.
The rivalry between the two Manchester clubs was heightened when Carlos Tevez was poached by City from their neighbours, which City fans celebrated deliriously.
Their reaction prompted some cutting remarks from Ferguson but Mancini feels their recent cup win will force the Scotsman to change his opinion of them.
"Sir Alex Ferguson offered me his congratulations after the game at Wembley and that was very important and kind," said the Manchester City chief.
"He now knows that we are a big club because he is a very clever man. He understands football very well. He knows that Manchester City has changed a lot over the last year.
"I don't know what he has said about our club in the past, but if you want to arrive at the top there is only one way - and that is to work very hard.
"The only way that you can change the mentality of a club is to win and that means working hard over a long period of time.
"It is impossible to bring a winning mentality to a club in one month or even six months. Of course, we need to work even more but we are getting better - and he knows that."