Ferguson: Trophies key to success
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's recollection of his tricky start to his Old Trafford career may have inadvertently offered some advice to successor David Moyes.
Moyes - along with former assistant manager Mike Phelan, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law - was a guest in the audience to hear his fellow Scot spend an hour recounting tales and experiences from his career.
Life after Ferguson at Old Trafford has not got off to the flying start Moyes would have hoped for as some stuttering performances in the Barclays Premier League have left them eighth in the table, eight points behind leaders Arsenal.
Famously Ferguson also had a testing start to his reign and he was not following an icon who had just enjoyed a 27-year trophy-laden spell.
''The thing about coming to a club like United is you can never get away from the expectation and I learned about that quickly,'' said Ferguson at a question and answer session for a 1,700-strong audience at The Lowry Theatre in Manchester to coincide with the publication of his autobiography.
''I spent a lot of stupid time looking at history, getting out early results from the 10 previous seasons and it was doing me no good, I was getting nowhere with that.
''I learned you had to look at your own situation.
''Winning a trophy at any time is important at this club.''
Ferguson was not asked any questions by BBC Sport presenter Dan Walker about the Glazer family's ownership of United, Roy Keane, Wayne Rooney or what he thought about the reaction over the last week to the publication of his memoirs.
He did offer a view on what he thought made for a successful manager.
''I was there 27 years and that gave me time to look ahead,'' said the Scot, who revealed he had been contacted by Cardiff boss Malky Mackay in the last fortnight - around the time when there was huge speculation about his future after internal wranglings at the Welsh club.
''When clubs sack their manger they have no evidence it works. When a manager is consistent in his position the club does better and I strongly believe in that.
''David Moyes had 10 years at Everton and when he joined he inherited a 'sell, sell, sell' (policy) but he built the club up.''
Ferguson, who made disparaging remarks about Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard in the book saying he was not a ''top, top player'', could not resist another little dig at the Merseysiders.
However, he accepted it was because of the Anfield side's historic success that the rivalry between the two North West clubs was so fierce.
''Coming to United Liverpool were the top dogs, there were fantastic teams in the '70s and '80s winning their four European Cups - or whatever it was,'' he said.
''Our younger fans who have grown up don't remember when Liverpool were successful.
''They don't remember when we were fighting to get on top of Liverpool.
''The two clubs are the two most successful in Britain, that is obvious, so the rivalry is always going to be there.''
Ferguson also had a swipe at the FA, which is currently beginning the long process of how to overhaul the game from grassroots level and improve coaching.
''What we are seeing at the moment which is really wrong is the FA are fast-tracking players (into coaching) because they are internationals,'' he said.
''It is ridiculous. You don't do them any favours whatsoever because this is a difficult industry.
''They should be making sure the coaching qualifications are intense and difficult because by doing that you know you are giving them proper preparation.''