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'Fergie is autocratic and abrasive -- he thrives on conflict'


"You cannot argue with Alex Ferguson. He is like the president of England. It is impossible, you always lose. But he made a mistake to leave me on the bench. That was the only final the team had lost since I had been at United.

"My family knows how much I suffered at United. I could not arrive home after a match or a training session and forget my pain. It was not good and I transmitted all my sadness to them."


"He's a scary man, but in a really good way. He's played such an important role in my life, and during my time at Manchester United he was like a father figure to me and I will always be grateful for that.

"No matter what has been said in the past, whether good or bad, I only remember the good times. I definitely hold nothing against the manager, he's an incredible man."


"It says much about the tension in our relationship, that even as a manager I have found it difficult to discount the possibility of Fergie taking a particular interest in putting one over on me. I do not think anybody needs to be reminded about Fergie's autocratic, abrasive style of management. He is a man who thrives on conflict. He has become so powerful and influential that if you fall out with him, you wonder if you'll work again."


"Players and managers fall out all the time. If I was to offer advice to Wayne, who is a good lad, I would tell him to make sure he looks after No 1. Players are pieces of meat -- when your time's up, your time's up. Wayne is at a good age and he's fit. (Whether Rooney leaves) depends on the situation and whether you have been lied to or not. But we are second-guessing what has gone on at the club, which is dangerous."


"The one thing I learned is, you are never sure of your place at United. I'd played three good seasons. Then they go behind my back. We won the Champions League and the World Club Championship while I was there. So I wasn't happy with the manner and way they conducted themselves. They showed a total lack of normal decency and respect so I had to leave. In retrospect, I heard that they had seemingly done a deal long before that."

Irish Independent