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Thursday 8 December 2016

Fergie plans to stay on the treadmill

Ken Gaunt

Published 19/05/2011 | 15:18

Alex Ferguson fears that giving up football will harm his prospects of enjoying a long life.

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The Manchester United manager is basking in the glory of his club achieving a record 19th title.

And the 69-year-old's enthusiasm shows no sign of waning as they prepare to bring the curtain down on the domestic season on Sunday when they face Blackpool at Old Trafford.

"I have no plans to retire, I must say that and (my wife) Cathy is delighted. She would have thrown me out, " he told MUTV at the club's annual awards ceremony.

"The salient point is that whilst my health is good, carry on. You hear many stories of people who come off the treadmill and their system breaks down. I don't want that happening to me."

Ferguson takes as much pleasure from winning the Barclays Premier League title this season as he did for the first time 18 years ago.

And the Scot rails at some of the criticism his players have had to endure during the campaign.

He said: "It is no easier now than it was in 1993. It is a great achievement. Everyone has shared in it. I enjoyed it as much as my first title. It becomes more of a challenge the longer you are at the club.

"If we are not scoring 10 goals every game, we have our critics. The expectation is high. But it is high from us too, and the fans. They want to see their best.

"Yes, you could criticise a lot of our away performances. They have been disappointing. But our home form has been fantastic. We have scored more goals than anyone else. It is hard to criticise that kind of form."

United also have the Champions League final to look forward to with Ferguson aiming to lift the trophy for a third time in his career following a late, late victory against Bayern Munich in 1999 and the 2008 triumph over Chelsea via a penalty shootout.

He admits he already has an idea of his side to face Barcelona on May 28 at Wembley.

Ferguson said: "We have the nucleus of a team in place. There are others that deserve a place. But we can only pick 11. That is the horrible part of being a manager. It is absolute agony.

"It is something you don't relish at all. I have to pick a team and I have to leave some very good players out.

"Hopefully those who have all played a part in the European campaign will feel satisfaction at the end of the night and we win the cup."

Chelsea were dispatched in the quarter-final and Ferguson has been thrilled with the way his side have played in Europe's elite club competition.

He added: "Our form in the European Cup has been sensational. We have not lost a goal away from home.

"You have to play well to beat Chelsea. They are a very experienced, powerful team. You have to give credit to the players for these tremendous performances."

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