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The 71-year-old's retirement stunned the footballing world and the Ivorian believes it gives his side the perfect opportunity to wrestle the title back from their city rivals

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to retire could prove to be to his side's gain as the blue side of Manchester look to capitalise and claw back the title from neighbours Manchester United.

City's disappointing defence of their title this season enabled United to win a 20th league title with relative ease but Toure insists City are ready to pounce next season as United venture into the unknown without their most successful manager.

"United is a great club and Ferguson is a big character at this club," Toure told reporters. "He has built everything at United and the balance I hope will go to the City side now.

"We will see next year, because there will be a lot of rivalry between Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and United.

"Tottenham are coming through and the Premier League is going to be very, very tough."

Toure's City team-mate Pablo Zabaleta shares this view but feels City need to look closer to home if they are launch a title assault next season.

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He said: "We need to think about what's happening at Manchester City now. What's happening on the other side of the town doesn't matter to us.

"All I can say about Ferguson is that he was a great manager. He has been very successful with Manchester United and we wish him all the best for the future."

The FA Cup final on Saturday against Wigan provides City with a golden chance to recover from their failure to retain the league title, and Toure admits he and his fellow team-mates are desperate to secure some form of silverware for the season.

The midfielder added: "We let the Premier League trophy go to United but now we want to win this one.

"But it's going to be difficult because we can't think Wigan will let the trophy go, just because of the situation they are in now in the Premier League.

"For us, this will be a very important trophy. It's is very important to keep winning trophies and that is why I signed a new contract.

"I want to be part of the history of the club. We've already started that, we've already won some trophies.

"I hope there are going to be more, like the Champions League and the Premier League, like the FA Cup.

"This is the only trophy left this season for us and we know it's going to be tough this Saturday. Wigan are a good football team with a fantastic manager.

"It's going to be tough but we're determined to achieve something for the club and for the fans. For the players it's very important."

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