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BBC pundit Alan Hansen hits back in row with Alex Ferguson


Match of the Day pundit Alan Hansen has defended himself against some stinging criticism from Sir Alex Ferguson.

In his programme notes ahead of Manchester United's 2-0 win over Stoke at Old Trafford last night, Ferguson condemned Hansen's assessment of his team.

Ferguson claimed Hansen had said United had not played well for 18 months and would end up with egg on his face, just as he did when the former Liverpool skipper famously declared: "You never win anything with kids" on his first viewing of the team containing Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and David Beckham that went on to dominate the English game.

Hansen denied he had said what Ferguson accused him of.

"I really don't know where that has come from," he said on last night's programme. "I never said that at any stage.

"What I said was that, over a period of 18 months, they haven't been as good as they have been in the past.

"I have also said that if you take the three teams at the top, Manchester United have consistently played worse than Tottenham and Manchester City.

"But it is to their credit that they are where they are and they will be the team to beat.

"In 1995 I said you can't win anything with kids. In 2012, I never said you can't win anything if you are hopeless."