Sir Alex Ferguson 'really enjoying' watching Manchester United this season

Some have claimed the former manager's presence has acted as a distraction this season

Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Manchester United can climb the Premier League table and insists he is enjoying watching David Moyes' team.

The former United manager, who departed after almost 27 years in charge last summer to make way for Moyes, has seen the Red Devils struggle to impose themselves in the title battle this season and get eliminated from both domestic cup competitions.

Last season's champions are crawling along in seventh place this time, six points outside the top four and a further eight points behind leaders Arsenal.

Ferguson says there is no limit to what United can achieve, but he concedes second-placed Manchester City are looking a major force as the campaign moves towards its crucial stage, and he also sees Arsenal as stayers in the race for silverware.

"United can do anything. They have got that great philosophy and history, they will always do well," Ferguson said.

"I can watch the team whenever I want and I've really enjoyed it. I'm going as a supporter now and instead of suffering with the team, I'm suffering or enjoying it with the fans. I'm really enjoying watching the team play."

The retirement of Ferguson and the transitional phase of former Everton manager Moyes moving into the top job at Old Trafford has been cited as a factor behind the United team's regression.

There have also been suggestions that Ferguson's regular presence in directors' boxes at United matches may not be helping Moyes to settle in, given plenty of focus continues to be afforded to the 72-year-old Scot.

Yet Ferguson, named a UEFA coaching ambassador on Friday, sees the competitive nature of this season's Premier League as a cause to celebrate, while holding out hope for a late United surge.

"This year for the first time it really looks as if five or six could be involved (in the title race), so it's a great Premier League," Ferguson told Sky Sports News.

"It's still not an easy league to win. I think the English game is the most honest and is the hardest league to win in terms of the competition you face. You can lose to anyone.

"You have to say Manchester City are playing so well, there is no dispute about that, but the teams at the top at the minute must have a big chance.

"Arsenal must have a big chance. Everyone keeps writing them off, saying they won't last, but we're into the second half of the season and they are still there. Then you've got Chelsea, Everton, Tottenham, who are starting to do well.

"United always do well in the second half of the season, so we've got a fantastic league and we should be proud of that."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Amazon's drones were unveiled last year.
business
Arts and Entertainment
Russell Tovey, Myanna Buring and Julian Rhind Tutt star in Banished
tvReview: The latest episode was a smidgen less depressing... but it’s hardly a bonza beach party
Life and Style
Worth shelling out for: Atlantic lobsters are especially meaty
food + drink
News
i100
Sport
Gareth Bale
footballPaul Scholes on how Real Madrid's Welsh winger would be a perfect fit at Old Trafford if he leaves Spain
Arts and Entertainment
Lily James in ‘Cinderella’
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss