Fergie's 1,000th is 'just another game I want to win'

Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates his 1,000th league game in charge of
Manchester United at Southampton on Sunday still taking as much
pleasure as ever from working with top-class players.
Ferguson's remarkable longevity and ability to rebuild teams have been
his hallmark, while 12 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four League
Cups and two European Cups have cemented his place in history.
Up to the challenge: Manchester United manager Alex
He has handled some of the most iconic footballers - Eric Cantona, Roy
Keane, Peter Schmeichel, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs - and
established United among the most commercially successful sporting
products in the world.
'There have been so many wonderful players at the club and it has
been a pleasure and an honour working with them,' he said.
'There's nothing I like
better than to pull my
car into the training
ground of a morning
and look forward to
another few hours
working with them and
my staff.
'There's an awful lot of
trepidation about the
job. Being manager of
Manchester United
carries a tremendous
responsibility but
hopefully I have been,
and will continue to be,
able to handle it.
'Any manager would
be thankful to
remember one great
squad; I've had five or
Twenty-six years ago
Ferguson, now
approaching 71, began
his managerial reign at
United with a 2-0
defeat at Oxford
United before going on
to become the most
successful manager in
British football history.
Victory would be his
599th in the league, while 233 league games have been drawn and just
168 lost. His 999 games in charge have also seen 1,863 goals scored
and 663 conceded.
His unparalleled success has seen the Scot given legendary status by
his fellow managers. But his advice to those on the way up? Be your
own man.
'I never tried to model myself on anyone,' he said. 'I've never read any
books written by managers. I have always tried to be my own man and
do it my way.
'If I was to give any advice to young managers, it would be not just to
learn by your mistakes but also heed the reasons why you made them.
'I don't just mean why your team may have lost a game, but all the
other things that you have to attend to every day - your judgment of
players, tactics, team selection, player welfare - everything.'
Sunday's match at St Mary's will be approached with the same rigour
and energy as his previous 999.
'I could never imagine how long I would be at the club or that I would be
looking forward to my thousandth game,' he said. 'It may be a special
occasion but it's just another game that I want to win.'

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