Charlton fears Ferguson exit

Sir Bobby Charlton is refusing to even consider when Sir Alex Ferguson will step down as Manchester United manager.

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Sir Bobby Charlton: Doesn't want to

Sir Bobby Charlton: Doesn't want to

Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton cannot bear to even contemplate Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement as the Red Devils manager celebrates his 13th Premier League title.

United wrapped up the league - their 20th in total - with a 3-0 victory at home to Aston Villa last night to see them home with four games still to go.

But Charlton, a club director and regarded as England's greatest ever player, insists thoughts have already turned to retaining their crown next season.

"Alex will already be planning next year," said the 75-year-old today.

"As soon as we won against Villa, his thoughts will have been on next year.

"We've got quite a busy tour of Asia and Australia in the summer and then when they come back from that it will be the start of the campaign to win the league again and who is to stop him?"

Ferguson, 71, has flirted with retirement in the past but shows no sign of calling it a day at the moment having clocked up 26 years at Old Trafford.

"He never talks about it and I wouldn't deem to talk about it myself, really," said Charlton.

"What I want is for it to continue the way it is at the moment.

"But we all get older and Alex will get older, the decision will be made and it will be a sensational performance because he has a great talent for winning.

"He wants to win and I think some of the newspapers would love to find out what Alex is going to do with his future. But I can't help you, because I don't know.

"And I don't ask any questions, either, just in case I trigger something!

"But he's been marvellous and everything that Manchester United wanted. He's been a major success and is the greatest manager there's ever been. It's unquestioned.

"But if you wanted to find out when he's going to change and have someone else in command, the only person who will ever give you a proper answer is Alex."

Charlton, who visited St George's Park to attend the unveiling of a bust of legendary England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom today, cannot praise Ferguson's methods highly enough.

"He is such a motivator and he's in control totally of his squad," he said. "I'm happy just to say 'on you go, Al, you just do it the way you've always done it'.

"It shows in the performances and the goals that we're scoring. We have lots and lots of goalscorers now and most of them are pretty young, so the future looks pretty good.

"He reads the game and knows the game. He finds that young players are really important in the future of the club.

"Then when you've got someone like Robin van Persie, at 29, he has been a success. Alex wants the younger players who come through to be that successful too.

"How he does it is a question of talent that only Alex can answer. He knows everything about the game."


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