ALEX Ferguson put Patrick Vieira back in his box by threatening him with the one man who had the former Gunner's number - Roy Keane.
The Manchester United boss has offered to put in call to Keane for another showdown with Vieira after the former Gunners man made some pointed remarks about the current strength of Fergie's squad.
"We can bring Keane back if he wants and make it interesting," said Ferguson. "Apparently he's retracted a bit but it's interesting."
Vieira, currently the football development manager at Eastlands, offered a scathing view of Paul Scholes return from retirement among other observations and Ferguson lashed back by claiming that Manchester City have won nothing.
"They were playing great football in the first half of the season," said erguson. "Everyone recognised that and we felt the brunt of it too when they beat us 6-1 here."
"But a season lasts for a bit longer than three months," he said.
Vieira's comments were made in a longer interview with the BBC which the Frenchman later claimed had been misrepresented.
He was quoted as claiming United receive favourable treatment from referees at Old Trafford, but City then banned BBC reporter Dan Roan from the club's facilities as they claimed the quotes were taken out of context - purporting to be a reaction to Fulham's failure to win a penalty at Old Trafford on Monday night when Vieira had made it clear he did not see the game.
Ferguson has been left perplexed by Vieira's latest outbursts, coming just a week after his jibe that "desperation" was behind Paul Scholes' retirement U-turn.
That triggered a blistering response from the United manager, and an accompanying warning that he had "plenty of ammunition" if City wanted to engage in mind games.
"The thing is, from the referee's position, I can see why he didn't give a penalty when Danny Murphy was brought down," claimed Ferguson referring to the blatant penalty incident on Monday night.
"The ball moved to the angle as Michael Carrick challenged him and from that position, it wasn't clear."
"It was a good claim but you could go through millions of things like that. Every club gets breaks here and there, you get good ones and bad ones. It evens itself out over the season, that will never change."
In theory, United's chances of improving an awful record of just two victories in 11 visits to Blackburn on Monday night are assisted by having a clear week to prepare.
But having watched others contest the Champions League quarter-finals this week, he would prefer a packed schedule.
"We have been used to playing midweek games for so long that you do miss it," said the United boss.
"The players miss it too. Yes, we do get freshness but you can't have it all ways. We would rather be in the Champions League."