Ferguson: I had to knock Everton off their perch too

Date published: Wednesday 4th October 2017 8:30

Sir Alex Ferguson says one of his first jobs upon taking over at Manchester United was not just to overhaul Liverpool, but also Everton.

The Scot replaced Ron Atkinson at Old Trafford in November 1986 before taking three and a half years to guide United to their first piece of silverware, and a further three years to win the league title.

In subsequent years, Ferguson was famously quoted as saying: “My greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f**king perch.” However, during his first season in charge, it was Everton who won the league title – their second in three years.

In a foreword for Peter Reid new autobiography Ferguson wrote: “If anything, his talent has become under-estimated with the passage of time.

“The same can be said for the Everton team of which he was a key part, a side that was undoubtedly one of the strongest in Europe during the mid-1980s when Howard (Kendall) had them playing some brilliant football.

“When people talk about the job that I took on at United in 1986, one of the first things that is often highlighted is the challenge we had to overhaul Liverpool but I have always thought that was disrespectful to Everton, who won the championship for the second time in three years in my first season in charge.

“Howard’s decision to leave at the end of that campaign probably stopped Everton in their tracks a little bit but when I first went to United there is no question that they were a top side, and I knew full well that getting the better of them was going to be a big job in itself.”

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