Sir Alex Ferguson: United respect managers more than City

26 December 2009 05:00
"The manager is always in a strong position at Manchester United and his position is always sacrosanct as far as the directors are concerned," he said.

Ferguson was angered by the manner of Manchester City's dismissal of his former player last weekend, the latest episode in what he sees as a culture of reactionary impatience in football.

His son, Darren, recently lost his job at Championship club Peterborough, and Ferguson believes being a young manager is becoming an impossible job.

Ferguson suffered an embarrassing defeat last time his side were in action, losing 3-0 at Fulham last weekend. That was their fifth defeat of the season in the league, one more than they suffered in the whole of the last campaign. They cannot afford another slip-up at Hull this afternoon if they want to maintain pressure on Chelsea.

Despite an unconvincing first half to the season by his own high standards Ferguson is proud that United never put their managers under unnecessary pressure. "They've all had a long time," he said of previous managers.

"Ron [Atkinson] was here for 5½ years and that's long in managerial terms. I'm an unusual case really. You can't view me as a normal situation but you'll always get time here."

Ferguson, who turns 68 next week, has been in charge at Old Trafford since 1986 but was on thin ice before he won the FA Cup in 1990 and has gone on to secure 11 league titles and two Champions League trophies.

"I think we're a bit unusual at our club and they'd have given me enough time. We are that kind of club. When I go, I think that whoever replaces me in years ahead will experience that and he will get plenty of time, I'm sure of that."

Key clash

Anthony Gardner v Wayne Rooney: Hull have been wobbling at the back once again and Wayne Rooney is showing signs that he could go on one of his trademark scoring runs, with five goals in his last five matches after spell of just one goal in two months. Gardner is Hull's best defender and will have to shine to keep Rooney quiet.

What's at stake

Sir Alex Ferguson has made great play of United being positioned on Chelsea's shoulder at the turn of the year and putting a firm end to the run of two defeats in three matches is a must. Hull's improvement has tailed off a little, with Phil Brown's side having failed to score in their last three matches.

Injury update

Ferguson is hoping to have either Nemanja Vidic or Wes Brown back and Rafael and Fabio Da Silva are fit for the game at the KC Stadium but is still missing Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans, John O'Shea and Gary Neville. Hull's Nick Barmby is set to miss out with a calf strain.

Probable teams

Hull (4-4-2): Myhill; McShane, Zayatte, Gardner, Dawson; Garcia, Olofinjana, Boateng, Hunt; Geovanni, Altidore. Manchester United (4-4-2): Kuszczak; Rafael Da Silva, Brown, Carrick, Evra; Valencia, Fletcher, Anderson, Giggs; Rooney, Owen

Source: Telegraph