"If Manchester United win five or six games on the trot - which they are capable of doing - they can get back up there," he says. "They clawed back 11 or 12 points from Newcastle a few years ago, but they do need to start winning games.
"I would think that Liverpool and Arsenal are the favourites but Leeds will fancy their chances as well, and Chelsea are there, so it is making it exciting for the first time in a few years.
"Manchester United are a fantastic group of players and used to winning every week, and there is always frustration when you don't do that."
He insists he does not feel, as some sections of the media have suggested, that a lack of respect was shown to West Ham by the absence of players such as Veron and Van Nistelrooy from United's team, and he says: "I'm not going to tell Alex Ferguson how to pick his team - he has got so many fantastic players and I think that would be very disrespectful of me.
"You just look at their bench and who you are playing against and it is always going to be difficult."
Nigel reckons it was sheer grit and determination that won the day, and adds: "Everyone was expecting us to lose but I think we showed a lot of battling qualities and the first half performance was superb.
"Although we didn't create a lot of openings we battled away and got what we deserved.
"You have to look at your own performances and we came out to work hard and try and create some chances against them, because, no matter how great they are, there is always going to be a little nervousness because of the results they have had, and luckily for us it came off."
Nigel feels a win was long overdue and adds: "The second half performance against Aston Villa was superb, by all accounts the lads should have won at Sunderland, and we could have won at Charlton.
"We are not getting carried away but obviously it was a good result."
Next up is Nigel's former club Arsenal, and he says: "We have a half decent record at home and we have to give it all we've got, and you never know again."