English Premiership

Fergie hails record-breakers

2011-05-14 20:21
Sir Alex Ferguson (File)
Blackburn - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson paid tribute to his latest English Premiership-winning side after they clinched a record-breaking 19th English title.

Wayne Rooney's 73rd minute penalty in a 1-1 draw away to Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park here on Saturday was good enough to give United the point they needed to take outright possession of a record they'd previously shared with arch-rivals Liverpool.

"It was a fantastic performance by the lads and the supporters and for everybody connected with the club it's a great day," Ferguson told Sky Sports after seeing United fall behind to a goal from Australia's Brett Emerton.

"It wasn't an easy game, we went 1-0 down having given them a bad goal but we kept on and we don't give in," added Ferguson, winning his 12th domestic title as United manager in a trophy-laden career with the Old Trafford club.

"It is a local (north-west) derby and they (Rovers) are fighting for their lives, looking for that point, but we kept going and that's a good quality."

Asked about the prospects of Liverpool, now resurgent under Kenny Dalglish, mounting a title challenge next season, Ferguson said: "Kenny's come in and lifted the whole place because he was a great player for them and you see the results now.

"It's not easy, this league and they'll find that out.

"We've dropped points to Blackburn, West Brom, Birmingham, Aston Villa, Sunderland, Newcastle and Bolton.

"That's an indication of how tough the league is."

This draw ensured United wrapped up the domestic title ahead of both next week's clash with relegation threatened Blackpool and the Champions League final against Spanish giants Barcelona at Wembley in a fortnight.

"It's a bonus for us, now we can consider who should be rested and who should not be rested," said Ferguson, who vowed to respect all the other clubs facing the drop by fielding a competitive team against Blackpool.

"I know there is all this talk about what our team will be next week but, in fairness to all the clubs, we'll be fair, don't worry about, we'll go out to win that game."

Ferguson is about to mark his 25th anniversary as United manager, having joined the club from Aberdeen, following a successful spell with the Scottish side that yielded European honours, in 1986.

Back then he vowed to "knock Liverpool off their perch" and the 69-year-old Scot said: "It was a big challenge. In the 80s, it was Liverpool's time.

"But when I came down, I never thought we could achieve what we've achieved, but getting that first one (United won a maiden Premier League title under Ferguson in 1993) opened the doors.

"The success has carried on and, in fairness to the club all the players who come here know they have to win."

Ferguson added: "I had a terrific spell at Aberdeen but it was always time for me to move on at some point and I couldn't have picked a better club.

"This was the ideal club for me, there's no question about that. It was the only club in the world that could match what I needed then."

And Ferguson insisted there was no question of his retiring any time soon. "No, no, no. I feel good."

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