Sir Alex Ferguson to carry on attending Manchester United matches


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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson said he is enjoying watching Manchester United from the stands this season and suggested he would continue to do so despite critics urging him to stay away for the sake of the team.

United have endured a difficult first season under new manager David Moyes. The champions have fallen 14 points behind leaders Arsenal in the league and are out of both domestic cup competitions. Throughout the trials and tribulations, a near ever-present among the United fans  has been Ferguson, high up in the stands, regularly photographed head in hands as his former charges disappoint time and again.

The sight of the former manager peering down from the directors’ box has divided opinion, with some fans comparing Moyes’s situation with the one that faced Wilf McGuinness when he replaced Matt Busby in 1969. Former Queen’s Park Rangers manager and Independent columnist Neil Warnock has said he does not think Ferguson should attend so many games.

However, Ferguson, who was appointed by Uefa as an ambassador to oversee its coaching programs, said he was happy to be able to go to watch United as a supporter and showed no signs of wanting to stay away.

“I can watch the team whenever I want and I’ve really enjoyed it,” he said. “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.”

Former United captain Bryan Robson said it was a “pathetic excuse” for anyone to blame Ferguson’s presence at matches for the club’s current struggles. “To see Sir Alex at matches shows that he’s got great support for the club,” Robson said. “For anybody trying to make an excuse and say ‘Sir Alex is in the stand watching me play. I’m going to wilt’ – well why didn’t you wilt when he was manager?