Fergie shocked by O'Neill doubters

Sir Alex Ferguson claims it's an insult for anyone to question the self-belief of Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill.

Last Updated: 14/12/12 at 16:07 Post Comment

Latest Articles

Neil Etheridge signs for Walsall on two-year deal

Post comment

Walsall have signed goalkeeper Neil Etheridge from Charlton on a two-year deal.

Brentford snap up Twente's Andreas Bjelland

Post comment

Brentford have confirmed the signing of FC Twente defender Andreas Bjelland.

All Articles

Sir Alex Ferguson: Support for O'Nei

Sir Alex Ferguson: Support for O'Nei

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson claims it's an insult for anyone to question the self-belief of Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill.

Speculation over O'Neill's future as Black Cats boss has rumbled on for most of the season as the club's fortunes have nosedived.

Sunderland were in the Premier League's bottom three until they beat fellow strugglers Reading, only their third victory of the entire campaign, and few expect them to record a first win over United at Old Trafford since 1968 when the two sides meet on Saturday.

But Ferguson does not believe such struggles should lead to talk about O'Neill's qualities. For the United boss, O'Neill's CV speaks for itself.

"He was asked a question last week which was absolutely ridiculous, about whether he still had self-belief," said Ferguson.

"Martin O'Neill has won three titles with Celtic, he's taken them to a UEFA Cup final, he's been at Aston Villa, he's been at Leicester City. It was a silly question, an absolute insult because he is an outstanding manager."

Not that Ferguson was too impressed with Sunderland supporters on the last day of last season.

Having beaten the Wearsiders, United looked as though they would be champions as they waited on the pitch, only for Sergio Aguero's injury-time goal to snatch the title away for Manchester City.

Gloating from the home fans was immediate and Ferguson was visibly irritated at the time.

Wayne Rooney followed up in his autobiography by claiming he would look for the Sunderland fixtures with added interest this term.

However, time seems to have brought a measure of perspective to the situation.

Ferguson still cannot understand the reaction, but all he is interested in now is preserving his side's six-point lead at the top of the table.

"It was a disappointing reaction when you think of the number of players we've given Sunderland over the years. Jonny Evans and Danny Simpson got them promoted a few years back," he added.

"It's just fans. It wasn't malicious, it was them enjoying the moment.

"Revenge won't come into anything tomorrow. Winning the game is more important to us because after the impetus we got from last week, it's time for us to really kick on."

Ferguson admitted the manner in which that day unfolded hurt badly though and he has no wish to experience it again.

United have certainly made a decent start, their win over City opening a handy lead on their major title rivals.

However, after losing an eight-point advantage in their final six games last term, Ferguson is taking nothing for granted.

"I am happy with six points, it's their challenge to try and catch us," he said.

"But it's not such a healthy lead.

"The key is whether we can keep all our players fit.

"If we do that, with the squad we have, I will be really happy.

"First of all we've got to get through this heavy Christmas programme.

"If we are still top of the league when we've navigated that we will be delighted."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

Footer 365

Tottenham set to make their move for Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld

Tottenham will meet with Atletico Madrid to discuss a potential deal for Toby Alderweireld, according to Sky sources.

United States asks for extradition of seven FIFA officials arrested in May

The United States has asked the Swiss authorities to extradite the seven FIFA officials arrested in Zurich in May, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice has announced.

Manchester United's Javier Hernandez suffers suspected broken collarbone

Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

Mail Box

Media Must Maintain Women's Momentum

England being English was tough luck but the media must build on the increased interest in the women's game. Also, mails on Turan, United aiming too high and BAPs...

Are United Aiming Too High On Transfers?

One mailer wonders whether United are aiming a little high on their transfer ambitions. Plus, BAHs, West Ham in Europe, petty annoyances and Michu to United...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company