Belfast Telegraph

Pardew: Fergie too good to compare

Newcastle boss Alan Pardew admits Sir Alex Ferguson has simply been too successful to be considered the benchmark for his managerial colleagues.

Newcastle welcome the reigning Barclays Premier League champions to Tyneside on Wednesday night, with both teams looking for a response having suffered weekend defeats against Liverpool and Blackburn respectively.

But ahead of the match, Pardew paid tribute to Ferguson, who turned 70 last Saturday. When asked if the Scot is the benchmark for all other managers, the former West Ham manager replied: "He isn't really because he's just ridiculous."

He added: "Something like 50 trophies - you just can't possibly imagine getting yourself into a position to win that many.

"But in the terms of the way he handles his club and the way he runs his club, he is a bit more fortunate than a lot of us because he has a lot of power there and he has earned that power. That's what we all aim to do."

Ferguson's longevity has given him an iron grip on his club, a fact he demonstrated on Saturday when he left England striker Wayne Rooney out of the side following a Boxing Day night out.

The England striker, who is understood to have been fined for incurring his manager's wrath, is expected to return to the starting line-up, and he could be joined by Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling as United attempt to bounce back from their shock 3-2 home defeat by Blackburn.

Asked about the Rooney situation, Pardew said with a smile: "I don't think it's going to last for our game. Those scenarios happen on the training ground and managers stand by their decisions.

"They have had injuries, for sure, but I am well informed that there will be a few back for this game, and I am not surprised by that.

"Alex knows it's a tough game, coming to Newcastle, so I expect to see a few of the more famous names on that sheet. But when you look at their squad, they have still got the biggest and best squad in the division, and that's why they are the champions."


From Belfast Telegraph