Friday 2 December 2016

Ferguson laments not signing Hart

Published 21/02/2012 | 05:00

"If I was coming to United today from Aberdeen, I'd struggle, because of the beast it is. When I came we were in a bit of a valley and bottoming out. Liverpool were the dominant team winning all the titles and United were well adrift of that, so we had to build the football club. It wasn't easy and it took time. I had success at Aberdeen, which gave me confidence I could do it, and time. If I was taking over from Aberdeen today it would be more difficult."

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Meanwhile, Ferguson has revealed his regret at passing up the chance to sign Man City's Joe Hart for a bargain fee earlier in his career. Hart joined City from Shrewsbury in 2006 and has become England's first-choice 'keeper.

"I could have bought Joe Hart for £100,000 so we all make mistakes," he said. "I've no doubt (that Hart will be England keeper for the next 10 years). If you look at the 'keeper situation for the last 20 years, I would think he's easily the best."

Ferguson also revealed how he reassured Rio Ferdinand when the defender was stripped of the England armband.

"When the captaincy was taken away from him I told him 'you have to put it out your mind'," said Ferguson. "I said 'don't forget, it's the same with us. I can't have you as captain now because you may not be playing every week'.

"I told him you are not the same player as five years ago and need to adjust your game. Step back a yard. That's what you do with an ageing player. He's doing as well as ever now."

After 26 years at Old Trafford and multitudes of players under his command, Ferguson said there is one in particular he regrets he didn't buy. "I tried to sign Paul Gascoigne. Since 1966 he's the one star England has produced. He was unbelievable. I wish I could have got him and done something with him.

"He could have played for Brazil. The mistake he made was going to London in his early 20s. Bryan Robson or Bobby Robson would have helped him a little bit here." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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