Nicky Butt admits there has been power shift between Manchester clubs

Manchester United favourite Nicky Butt has said that there has been a genuine power shift between the Manchester clubs over the past few years and his former side have a challenge on their hands to reclaim their dominancy over their cross-town rivals. The Red Devils were truly outclassed during the recent derby at the Etihad Stadium where Manchester City secured a comfortable 3-1 victory to return to the top of the table.

Speaking in a player care conference, Butt admitted that United are going through a tough period whilst suggesting that City have bridged a gap between themselves and chasing pack. He added that United now have the challenge to reclaim the reputation of being the best from the times of Sir Alex Ferguson.

He quipped: “I think every now and again you come up against a team that are too good for you. Every now and again you have got to hold your hands up and say they are a better team than us, better players than us, too good for every team in the Premier League to be honest, and they are as good as any team in Europe.

“For Man Utd now, we have got a challenge on to get back to where we want to be, which is the biggest club in the country, and also in the city. So that challenge is there for the owners, the board, the manager and the club in general to be where we want to be. And, to be honest, we have got a challenge on our hands to get there.”

Jose Mourinho’s team have endured a tough start to the current campaign and the defeat at Manchester City was their fourth of the season after just 12 matches. As such, the pressure has been constantly rising on the Portuguese with the Red Devils struggling to keep up with the top four and reports have suggested that he could be sacked, should the club fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

United have accumulated just 20 points from the opening 12 matches and the run sees them eighth on the table. They are currently holding a seven-point deficit to fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur whilst a further five behind reigning champions and current leaders Manchester City.