London - Former Liverpool and Scotland defender Alan Hansen said on Wednesday that he is mystified by angry criticism from Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ferguson hit out at Hansen on Tuesday, saying the media pundit would end up with "egg on his face" for claiming that United had not played well for 18 months.
However, Hansen said he was baffled by Ferguson's remarks.
"I really don't know where that has come from," Hansen said. "I never said that at any stage.
"What I said was that, over a period of 18 months, they haven't been as good as they have been in the past.
"I have also said that if you take the three teams at the top, Manchester United have consistently played worse than Tottenham and Manchester City.
"But it is to their credit that they are where they are and they will be the team to beat.
Ferguson and Hansen have had a fraught relationship.
Although Hansen was one of the most accomplished central defenders of his era, winning eight English championships and three European Cups with Liverpool, he was capped just 26 times by Scotland.
While caretaker manager of Scotland at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico after Jock Stein's death, Ferguson left Hansen out his squad in favour of the central defensive partnership of Willie Miller and Alex McLeish that he had nurtured while in charge of Aberdeen.