Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany said the Premier League champions must keep kicking neighbours Manchester United while they are down as the Red Devils continue to struggle following Alex Ferguson's retirement.

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United has not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – Ferguson's final season at Old Trafford – with City enjoying a change in momentum and dominance in Manchester.

Pep Guardiola's record-breaking City finished 19 points clear of United last season, while Jose Mourinho's side has lost two of its opening three matches this season.

Kompany feels some sympathy for United, though he wants City to take advantage in the quest for more silverware.

"I'll give the ­neighbours a little bit, I'll have compassion for them, ­because Sir Alex Ferguson was such a big personality," Belgian defender Kompany said.

"You cannot take somebody like that out of a club and think that everything is going to continue like before. You ­always need a ­transition ­period.

"Manchester United are still ­dealing with a post­-Ferguson era. So they will get that side of me, feeling ­compassionate. But any time it takes them to get back up, we need to take advantage of it."

City welcomes Newcastle United to the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, while United is away to Burnley on Sunday as it seeks to avoid three consecutive defeats.