Sir Matt Busby is Manchester United No 1, says Sir Alex

17 December 2010 01:44
Sir Alex Ferguson will pass Sir Matt Busby's record as longest-serving Manchester United manager on Sunday admitting it still feels like his fellow Scot should hold the accolade.

When Ferguson sends his team into battle against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge it will be 8,811 days since he succeeded Ron Atkinson, one more than Busby managed during his two stints in charge.

Yet it appears to the present incumbent that Busby had been around for far longer, mainly due to the rebuilding work that had to be done, both immediately after World War II and the Munich tragedy.

Top man: Sir Matt Busby remains, in the eyes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Old Trafford's No 1

'It has been frozen into the memory bank,' Ferguson said. 'I think of Sir Matt Busby as being here forever. He started at the end of the war and went right through to winning the European Cup in 1968.

'The timespan seems to be much longer than mine.

'Of course, there are emotional issues. He had to rebuild the team after Munich. There was so much emotion. I did not have that. That is the reason he seemed to have been here forever.'

Instead, Ferguson had to train his sights on overcoming a Liverpool side that had a stranglehold over the English game.

Brains trust: The warmth between manager past and present is clear as Busby and Ferguson chat in 1991

'They were the dominant team in the 1980s. That is what I looked at,' said Ferguson. 'That was the big challenge for me.'

Ferguson plays down talk of similarities with Busby, insisting: 'Sir Matt was a lot calmer than me.'

However, Ferguson found his predecessor an invaluable source of advice, the basis of which he has tried to keep going.

Still doing it: Sir Alex will become the longest-serving manager at Manchester United and he shows little sign of slowing

'The most important piece of advice he gave me was not to read the press,' he said. 'It was great advice and I have not read it since. The issue of ex-players at the club was something I have been addressing for quite a long time.

'I wanted to keep all our great players around the club in some capacity. I had Sir Bobby Charlton on the board and Sir Matt was here as well. People like that are able to understand the dimensions of Manchester United. That is necessary to understand the role of manager. It was very helpful to me.'

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Source: Daily_Mail