Friday 23 February 2018

Ferguson calls time on retirement talk

Mark Ogden

ALEX FERGUSON has insisted that all thoughts of retirement are at the back of his mind after surpassing Matt Busby as Manchester United's longest-serving manager.

Ferguson, who celebrates his 69th birthday on New Year's Eve, eclipsed Busby's 8,810 days service as United boss on Sunday and will mark 25 years at Old Trafford if he continues to be in the charge of the club next season.

Having performed a U-turn on plans to retire at the end of the 2001/02 season, Ferguson has since claimed that he would not work beyond his 70th birthday.

But with United now chasing a record 19th league title -- they are level with Liverpool on 18 -- the Scot admits that he has no idea of when he might call time on his management career.

"The older you get, the more worried you are about retiring," Ferguson said.

"You start to realise that, while you have got your health and good fitness, you should carry on in your job. All thoughts of retirement are in the back of my mind.

"It (saying he was going to go) was a mistake. At the time there were some reasons for it. It was one of those things."

United missed out on the chance to extend their lead at the top of the table following the postponement of Sunday's clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge -- a move which left Manchester City in with a chance of claiming top spot with a victory at home to Everton last night.

But despite the threat from across Manchester in the shape of Roberto Mancini's City, Ferguson believes that Tottenham -- who entertain United at White Hart Lane next month -- can also challenge for the title in this campaign.

Ferguson added: "It is a tough league, but do you want United and Chelsea or Arsenal to steamroller the league every season?

"I think the public like what they're seeing now, all of us dropping points, and you have also got the rise of Spurs.

"They have been fantastic since Harry (Redknapp) went there. They could have won some games and could have lost others, but there has been a real improvement by them.

"As Harry says, why can't they win the league? That is getting through to his players." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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