Alex Ferguson wants to retire from Manchester United on winning note

 

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson feels he has another two or three years left in the job but would only retire on the back of a success.

The 70-year-old Scot had been due to step down a decade ago but has justified his change of heart by winning five more Premier League titles to complement the seven he already had and adding a second Champions League triumph.

He has also won the FA Cup and three League Cups during that time and although he knows the end is approaching he is determined to end on a high.

"The fact I have been successful means you don't want to be in an era when you are not successful. Expectation is huge," said Ferguson.

"I don't know how long I can last now but if my health stays up I don't think another two or three years would harm me any.

"I think you need stamina in my job. I am blessed with that.

"I'll know when I'm not enjoying it and if I got to a point when I wasn't enjoying it I would definitely do it (retire).

"But I think you always want to go out on a winning note. Hopefully we can do that."

And while he insists there is no other role for him directly involved in football after he leaves his Old Trafford post, he has no plans to fade into the background.

"I would definitely finish - but I would remain active," he added in an interview on Radio Five Live.

"I think there would be a role at United after I finish."

Anticipating the day of his departure has become something of a guessing game over the last 10 years and even the players, both old and new, have started asking questions.

"All the players or their agents ask me how long I've got left when they sign a contract," he said.

"It becomes more difficult the longer it goes. The way David Gill (chief executive) answers it is by saying 'He has no intention of retiring at the moment'.

But Ferguson, who himself is regarded as something of a king-maker within British football, is adamant there have been no discussions about his thoughts on a successor.

"Never discussed it - it is a dangerous game," was his response.

"At this moment in time there are about half-a-dozen managers doing very well in the Premier League, all the others are fighting for their lives.

"Is that going to be the same in two or three years' time when I'm ready to quit? Some may have lost their job."

Ferguson believes even he would find it difficult were he to have his time at United again.

"I think United need to have someone experienced. If I was coming into United today I would struggle because of the beast it is," he said.

"When I came in we were in a valley because Liverpool were the dominant team and United were well adrift from that so we had to rebuild the club and it wasn't easy, it took time.

"But the experience I had was the success from Aberdeen and that gave me a chance in terms of respect from the dressing room and gave me self-confidence I could do the job.

"If I was taken from the job in Aberdeen today it would be a much more difficult task even though I was successful."

One of the secrets of Ferguson's success at United has been not only the way he has developed players but in the manner he has managed them as individuals.

Even though the age difference with some can be almost half-a-century he still has a way of connecting and cajoling the best from them.

"The thing about picking teams is I had experiences as a player I wouldn't want happening to my players," he said.

"I tell them before why (they are not picked). By doing that you are giving them respect.

"All the players know they can trust me and I've had many come to me with personal problems which I would never reveal to anyone.

"You try to help if you can - sometimes they want an arm on their shoulder, sometimes they are asking something.

"And they can depend on that trust all their lives because they've been my player."

PA

Arts and Entertainment
TVShow's twee, safe facade smashed by ice cream melting scandal
News
newsVideo for No campaign was meant to get women voting
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Lisa Kudrow, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Anniston reunite for a mini Friends sketch on Jimmy Kimmel Live
tv
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Alexis Sanchez celebrates after scoring his first goal for Arsenal in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas
sportChilean's first goal for the club secures place in draw for Champions League group stages
News
i100
News
Down time: an employee of Google uses the slide to get to the canteen
scienceBosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder
Arts and Entertainment
Amis: 'The racial situation in the US is as bad as it’s been since the Civil War'
booksAuthor says he might come back across Atlantic after all
Extras
indybest
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?