Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed criticism from Manchester City that bringing Paul Scholes out of retirement was a sign of desperation on Manchester United's part and has warned he has 'plenty of ammunition'.
Scholes initially retired at the end of last season, but returned to the United fold in January and has helped to steer the reigning champions back to the top of the Premier League table.
However, former City midfielder Patrick Vieira, who is now the club's football development executive, claimed earlier this week that the move was a sign of a weakness and was worrying for United's long-term future.
Ferguson has responded to Vieira's comments as the fabled mind games in the battle for the title start to ramp up a notch.
The Red Devils boss brushed off suggestions it was a desperate act to call on Scholes again and took a dig at City's decision to bring former United striker Carlos Tevez back into their plans.
"If it's desperation bringing the best midfielder in Britain back for the last 20 years then I think we can accept that," said Ferguson.
"I think he (Vieira) was programmed for that.
"Roberto (Mancini) 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 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?"
Ferguson also rejected Vieira's assertion that a further sign of United struggling was their inability to keep hold of Ravel Morrison during the January transfer window and their ongoing battle to retain Paul Pogba.
He added: "The point he made about Ravel Morrison and losing our young players - we wanted to sell him (Morrison) let's be clear about that, for obvious reasons.
"But we want Pogba to stay because we think he's going to be a fantastic Manchester United player and hopefully that's the case."
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