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Alex Ferguson full transcript from his chat to MUTV tonight, 19th September 2013

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  • Alex Ferguson full transcript from his chat to MUTV tonight, 19th September 2013

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    to MUTV tonight (19th September 2013)

    Q. Sir Alex, how is retirement for you so far?

    "I'mve enjoyed it. You know obviously there's some things you miss and some things you don't miss - it's the banter in the dressing-room and the humour on the training pitch, and all the relationships I've built over a long period, some of the staff who had worked with me for such a long, long time, like Les Kershaw, Dave Bushell, Brian McClair, you know, Mike Phelan, Tony Whelan, Paul McGuinness, these guys were with me a long time, so you miss all that type of thing, there are some things you don't miss obviously, press conferences on the Friday which were played time and time again for the whole day. But I think there's obviously I've relaxed about retiring. I think I left at the right time. It was a great, great period of my life, being at United."

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    Q. We've seen you back at Old Trafford of course as well, has that been slightly strange for you as well?

    "The only, the only… I loved the Swansea game, I enjoyed Saturday, I loved Tuesday night. I thought they played terrific on Tuesday night. The Swansea game, terrific. The Liverpool game? Agony! You know, I spoke to David Moyes about this a bit after the Liverpool game. And we've gone there over the years, well 20-odd times over the years, and we've played worse than that and won games, you know? And I can't believe the criticism United at that game, getting. I thought David Moyes was right - I think they did play well. Yep, maybe they could have done with a goal, but in the context of my experience of going to Liverpool you know - I can't remember when Liverpool, we've played them over there and yet they hardly got in in our box. So I was a bit frustrated with that game, because I thought they deserved better, I thought they deserved more, but they won well against Crystal Palace, a difficult game as you know, Stewart many times over the years, when teams come, they park their bus in the penalty box, it's very difficult to break down. And Tuesday night they were terrific. I think that were a lot of key elements of it.

    "I thought Wayne's performance was fantastic. I was pleased to see that. He's got his energy back, his determination, his purpose to attack players, was all very, very encouraging for me, and being a director, I'm delighted to see that, he's back to what we always remember him."

    And then also really important, I think is key to the team, is that if Vida stays fit, we have a fantastic chance, you know that. And you've got Van Persie, you've got Rooney, you've got the forwards who can win games, Antonio Valencia was back to his best. Changing the number of his jersey again! It's amazing how it can affect a player like that. Maybe it was a great thing for him to do that, he used his initiative to go back to 25. He was fantastic. Michael Carrick's form has continued from last year, De Gea is maturing, Patrice Evra his normal, there was a lot of really fantastic plus points for me on Tuesday night. Because Leverkusen are third in the German league. It wasn't, on paper, you know when you say to yourself, 'It's going to be a difficult game' , I thought it would be a difficult game, but they made it easy for themselves, because they dominated."

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    Q. Talking about press, obviously you've been in the press this week because of Mark Halsey's autobiography and suggesting that he had a very close relationship with you, there were texts and phone calls, what do you make of that?

    "Well, yeah, it's a load of, I mean I can't believe the stuff, it's, obviously it's Alex Ferguson element in his book was obviously what he thought important but you now all of the managers, most of the managers, particularly in the north-west, supported him - and a lot of the players by the way - when he had the cancer. Him and his wife. It was a terrible period for the lad and quite rightly I think the football fraternity got behind him and supported him, we gave him jerseys after jerseys for all these dinners he was having. And of course, a Manchester United strip figures quite greatly in all these auctions and I'm sure that a signed shirt by all the players - and quite a few of the players donated other items of their own.

    "But the laughable part for me is how I influenced the refereeing fraternity, if you think about it. This is a guy, by the way, that's been the worst record of any manager in the history of English football, and fined round about £100,000 by them, suspended so many times - that's some influence, I must say! But no I think that, I mean I didn't read some of that, to me it's a little bit Walter Mitty about stuff you know."

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    Q. On that point, obviously mentions getting in touch with you regarding Mark Clattenburg?

    "Well I don't remember that, to be honest with you. I didn't need him to tell me that. I was going to be asked that anyway at the press conference, because we were the team who played them that week. So the next press conference was going to be full of that and my take, quite rightly, and I know that it is absolutely 100 per cent correct, there is no way I could ever think a referee would abuse a player racially. To me it was a load of nonsense. He was absolutely clear in that respect, Mark Clattenberg. I wan't privy to what happened on the field, but I'm dead sure he never - and he was eventually cleared on it. It took a long time mind you, but he was cleared."

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    Q> And for you as well, going back to the States soon as well…


    Q> You're going back to the STates soon?

    "Yeah, going on Friday for a break, well, obviously it's been seven weeks since my hip operation and I'm now able to walk, and I can drive, I'm back driving again. The one thing obviously I've got to be careful s doing exercise, so the gym is out of the question at the moment, golf's out of the question at the moment! But I'm looking forward to the trip to New York, yeah."

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