Now, United captain Ferdinand has echoed the thoughts of Fergie in admitting that complacency may well may have been the reason for the loss to Liverpool at Old Trafford on Saturday lunchtime.
"We have got a rude awakening," he has said.
"None of us has been taking anything for granted but subconsciously there may have been complacency.
"Losing any game is disappointing but losing to a team who we have such a big rivalry with is even worse. And the scoreline takes it beyond that.
"It is very hard to take.
"It would be nice if there was a game around the corner," he said.
"But results like this can be turned into a positive. Any complacency that was there will have torn out of us.
"At least we are still a good position even if it doesn't soften the blow.
"Now we have to dust ourselves down and get our minds right for the game at Fulham next week, when we will hopefully get ourselves back on track."