Sir Alex Ferguson has warned David Moyes that he must be prepared to "sacrifice and persevere" if he is to succeed as Manchester United's new manager.
Ferguson will take charge of his final match against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns on Sunday before retiring after more than 26 years at Old Trafford. He recommended Moyes as his successor having been impressed with his record with limited resources in 11 seasons at Everton.
Yet despite his confidence that his Scottish compatriot will carry on his legacy of winning trophies, Ferguson admitted at the club's Player of the Year Awards last night that Moyes would need to be patient in his new role. "One thing you have to do here is sacrifice and persevere. It's not always a golden path of riches," he said. "There are hard days, there are difficult days, there are bad losses. Our supporters have suffered many things but they've also enjoyed many things.
"What I know of David is he's hard working, there's an integrity about him, he's got a work ethic about him and he's a serious football man. These are qualities he's going to need. If you look at what he's done at Everton. Eleven years without real financial backing, but he persevered and created some decent teams in the last few years."
Ferguson, who it was revealed turned down the chance to take over at Chelsea soon after Roman Abramovich's arrival in 2003, will end his United tenure having won 38 trophies in all. David Gill will also depart this summer after being appointed chief executive in 2003, but he believes the club's legacy is in safe hands.
"We've got the infrastructure there," he said. "We have very good staff off and on the field. David Moyes coming in will know he's got a rock-solid club, a club that has just won the Premier League by a big points margin."