Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra has joked that Sir Alex Ferguson may well sack the whole team should they surrender their seven-point Premier League lead over Manchester City, as they did last term.
The Red Devils were eight points clear of their local rivals with just five games left on the calendar last season, but Roberto Mancini's men fought back to secure the title in dramatic style in the final minute of their final game.
This time around Sir Alex's men have stretched an early lead to seven points, with a late goal handing them victory in a thrilling encounter with Newcastle on Boxing Day, while City were defeated away at Sunderland for the second successive year.
The France international was relieved to pull off the victory, stating it could be a big moment in the title race, while he fears the sack if the team manage to throw away the sizeable lead once again.
"It was a crazy match. For football lovers, it was a great match," the 31-year-old told TV channel Canal Plus.
"In the end, it was such a great release for us.
"I have never seen the players so happy in the changing room this season. At half-time Sir Alex told us if we could win this game, then we would have a big chance to be champions again.
"Remember, we were seven points ahead last term and we lost the Premier League with goal difference. If we do it again this season, Ferguson could sack us all!"
United will hope to keep the momentum going in their next few league clashes, as they host West Brom on Saturday before travelling to Wigan on New Year's Day, while rivals City are away at Norwich before welcoming Stoke to the Etihad Stadium.