Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

"I had to leave as a winner", says Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has won 13 Premier League titles at Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson has won 13 Premier League titles at Manchester United
Sir Alex Ferguson, pictured, wants everyone at Manchester United to back David Moyes
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: The players form a guard of honour as Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson walks out prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson signs autographs prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Manchester United manager Sir Alex ferguson applauds fans as he walks on to the pitch before taking his seat for his last Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date Sunday May 12, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex ferguson takes his seat for his last Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date Sunday May 12, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: A Manchester United fan shows off a banner to honour Manager Sir Alex Ferguson prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Manchester United fans wearing shirts to honour Sir Alex Ferguson make their way to the stadium prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Merchandise dedicated to outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson is on sale before the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date Sunday May 12, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Sir Alex Ferguson guided Manchester United to victory in his final game at Old Trafford
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks lost in thought as he emerges from a guard of honour, before his last home match in charge of the club at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date Sunday May 12, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
A banner is held by Manchester United fans in the stands honouring their manager Sir Alex Ferguson, before the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date Sunday May 12, 2013. See PA story SOCCER Man Utd. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. Maximum 45 images during a match. No video emulation or promotion as 'live'. No use in games, competitions, merchandise, betting or single club/player services. No use with unofficial audio, video, data, fixtures or club/league logos.
Michael Laudrup, pictured, believes Sir Alex Ferguson has timed his retirement perfectly
Jonny Evans, pictured, was shocked when he heard of Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement
Brendan Rodgers, left, believes Sir Alex Ferguson's, right, retirement could help Liverpool

Sir Alex Ferguson admits he was desperate "to go out a winner" after being beaten to the Barclays Premier League title by rivals Manchester City last year.

The Manchester United manager, who retires after 26 years of unprecedented success at Old Trafford, explained how important it was to him to leave his post with the club back on top of the pile.

Ferguson said: "That was an issue when (wife) Cathy and I chatted about this at Christmas. At that point we had a five-point lead and I thought we had a great chance.

"I said 'I really need to go out a winner. We need to win something'. After the disappointment of last season we couldn't take a second one. I was hopeful we'd win it and we did.

"We had a terrific points lead. The problem is when you have a lead and you start to lose a point. When we lost to City in the Monday night game you start to think 'Christ, you can't throw this away'."

That need to end on a high note extends to the final game of the Ferguson era at West Brom on Sunday too.

The silverware may have been sewn up already, but Ferguson has no interest in signing off with defeat.

"We need to win the game on Sunday," he added.

"We won the last home game (against Swansea) and I don't want to lose my last game, that's for sure."

Ferguson was instrumental in the decision to appoint Everton manager David Moyes as his successor and he explained why he felt his fellow Scot was the man for the job.

"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 for instance.

"Eleven years without real financial backing, but he persevered and created some decent teams in the last few years."

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