Sunday 26 January 2020

Alex Ferguson believes Jose Mourinho's Manchester United are still in the title race

Alex Ferguson and José Mourinho. Photo: PA
Alex Ferguson and José Mourinho. Photo: PA

Jack Austin

Alex Ferguson regards Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City as favourites for the Premier League title this season, but insists Manchester United can still win it.

United have only finished in the top four once since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, with David Moyes and Louis van Gaal both receiving the sack for missing out on Champions League football.

Jose Mourinho took charge in the summer but, despite spending around £150m on new players, he has had a tough start to life at Old Trafford, and has only managed one Premier League victory since August.

The former Chelsea boss holds a record identical to Moyes’ after nine league games, which has left United in seventh place in the table, six points behind City, Arsenal and Chelsea.

City haven’t won in six games following the 1-0 Manchester derby loss on Wednesday night, but Ferguson still believes they are favourites for the title after they won their first 10 games with Guardiola in charge.

"I think there's five potential candidates: Manchester City as favourites, Tottenham and Liverpool, but also Man United are still there if we get some consistency soon,” Ferguson told German magazine kicker.

“Even when you are trailing by six, eight points, it's still possible to catch one or two teams.

"The rivalry and the experience of Guardiola and Mourinho makes for an exciting competition. And you shouldn't forget Arsenal. The team is more sturdy. They've got better and more aggressive. I'm impressed with the young boy Alex Iwobi.

"Guardiola's skills are beyond debate, Conte is getting Chelsea on track, but Mourinho can also rival Guardiola – he's won the Champions League with two different clubs and titles in three different countries," the Scot said.

"For my money Mauricio Pochettino has fantastic potential. Spurs have a good mix of youth and experience. Top players like [Harry] Kane or [Eric] Dier were injured but they're still in a good position."

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