Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Ferguson on Inter Boss

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits he shares some similarities with Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho as the two clubs prepare to battle for a place in the last eight of the Champions League.

The pair have guided their sides to the top of the Premier League and Serie A this season with Mourinho making a successful return to the game following his departure from Chelsea in September 2007.

They enjoy a great mutual respect despite their off-field disagreements when Mourinho worked in England and the Portuguese has been suggested as a potential successor to Ferguson at Old Trafford.

Asked whether he believes the two share any common characteristics, Ferguson told MUTV: "I know Jose well.

"There is great belief in his team - there is a similarity there.

"He is a lot younger of course.

"But his route to success is quite similar to mine in the sense that he has been at smaller clubs before going to Porto, from Porto to Chelsea and then from there to Inter Milan. That is a progress in terms of his managerial career.

"I don't know everything about him in terms of his coaching methods or his philosophy but he does produce winning teams."

Ferguson will be looking to guide United to their third Champions League title of his tenure and their fourth in total.

The Scot, though, believes a club of United's stature should have won more European titles.

"Each year is always a tremendous challenge," he added.

"I've said it time and time again we haven't won it enough times.

"AC Milan have won it seven times, Real Madrid won it five times in a row (although) at the time it was just starting so it's difficult to put that in perspective the same as AC Milan.

"AC Milan particularly in the last two decades have won quite a few so they are the marking card for anyone in Europe.

"But below that strata you've got Liverpool who have won it five times, Bayern Munich four times, Ajax four times. We should be in that frame and that is our big challenge."

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