Fergie has ‘no plans to retire’

The United manager is basking in the glory of his club achieving a

record 19th title. And the 69-year-old’s enthusiasm shows no sign

of waning as they prepare to bring the curtain down on the domestic

season on Sunday when they face Blackpool at Old Trafford. “I have

no plans to retire, I must say that and (my wife) Cathy is

delighted. She would have thrown me out, ” he told MUTV at the

club’s annual awards ceremony. “The salient point is that whilst my

health is good, carry on. You hear many stories of people who come

off the treadmill and their system breaks down. I don’t want that

happening to me.” Ferguson takes as much pleasure from winning the

Premier League title this season as he did for the first time 18

years ago. And the Scot rails at some of the criticism his players

have had to endure during the campaign. He said: “It is no easier

now than it was in 1993. It is a great achievement. Everyone has

shared in it. I enjoyed it as much as my first title. It becomes

more of a challenge the longer you are at the club. “If we are not

scoring 10 goals every game, we have our critics. The expectation

is high. But it is high from us too, and the fans. They want to see

their best. “Yes, you could criticise a lot of our away

performances. They have been disappointing. But our home form has

been fantastic. We have scored more goals than anyone else. It is

hard to criticise that kind of form.” United also have the

Champions League final to look forward to with Ferguson aiming to

lift the trophy for a third time in his career following a late,

late victory against Bayern Munich in 1999 and the 2008 triumph

over Chelsea via a penalty shootout. He admits he already has an

idea of his side to face Barcelona on May 28 at Wembley. Ferguson

said: “We have the nucleus of a team in place. There are others

that deserve a place. But we can only pick 11. That is the horrible

part of being a manager. It is absolute agony. “It is something you

don’t relish at all. I have to pick a team and I have to leave some

very good players out. “Hopefully those who have all played a part

in the European campaign will feel satisfaction at the end of the

night and we win the cup.” Chelsea were dispatched in the

quarter-final and Ferguson has been thrilled with the way his side

have played in Europe’s elite club competition. He added: “Our form

in the European Cup has been sensational. We have not lost a goal

away from home. “You have to play well to beat Chelsea. They are a

very experienced, powerful team. You have to give credit to the

players for these tremendous performances.”