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Any trophy would be 'fantastic' for David Moyes, says ex-Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson

Updated: Sunday, 20 Oct 2013 15:30 | Comments

Alex Ferguson: 'We've always had priorities obviously and David is aware of that but I hope he achieves it'
Alex Ferguson: 'We've always had priorities obviously and David is aware of that but I hope he achieves it'

Alex Ferguson believes it would be a "fantastic achievement" for David Moyes to win any trophy with Manchester United this season.

Moyes has not had the easiest of transitions after replacing Ferguson in the summer.

Saturday's 1-1 draw with Southampton at Old Trafford means United have won just three of their opening eight Barclays Premier League matches.

Already they have dropped eight points behind leaders Arsenal and it looks unlikely they will mount a successful defence of the championship Ferguson won for the 13th time in May before his emotional farewell.

However, United have begun their Champions League campaign well and also defeated Liverpool to advance in the Capital One Cup.

And, in an exclusive interview with MUTV, Ferguson claimed any kind of silverware should be regarded as a success this term.

"For David, winning a trophy would be a fantastic achievement," said Ferguson.

"No matter what it is - the League Cup, FA Cup, European Cup or Premier League.

"We've always had priorities obviously and David is aware of that but I hope he achieves it."

Moyes' problem is obvious. Throughout the entire Premier League era, United have not finished lower than third place in the table.

They won the Champions League twice under Ferguson and reached two more finals, won the FA Cup five times and the League Cup on four occasions.

It is some standard Moyes has to maintain.

"The key for David is not to look to do anything better or less but just to maintain what the club has been for 20-odd years and keep the success going," said Ferguson.

"It is not easy winning a trophy in our league because you could say there are six teams fighting for the league."

"For David, winning a trophy would be a fantastic achievement" - Alex Ferguson

Ferguson is certain Moyes will be given the space to do the job though given the vast amount of experience amongst the Old Trafford heirarchy.

"He has great support at the club," he said. "It is a fantastically-run football club.

"There are absolutely no issues about it. Every club needs a little bit of luck and hopefully we'll get the luck."

There will be no interference either.

Ferguson has repeatedly praised the Glazer family for their hands-off attitude to the management of the football side.

And the veteran Scot, who will be 72 on 31 December, is adamant the manager must retain control of the team he is trusting to win matches.

"I remember saying to the board back in David [Gill]'s time the manager is the most important person at the club," said Ferguson.

"He always will be. Whether it's Alex Ferguson, David Moyes or Matt Busby.

"The most important person in the club is the manager and that must always be sacrosanct.

"In fairness, the club have always stuck by that rigid belief."

Yet Ferguson knows football is a far different game to the one he came into, or was when he arrived at Manchester United in 1986 and was given three-and-a-half years to win a trophy.

His ability has been to adapt. "You must embrace the change," he said.

"I've said it many times: The bus is leaving. If you're not on the bus you're left behind and that applies to the manager as well.

"I think I did that very well, particularly in my last decade.

"You must have the humility to do that and not think the world should never change because you're stuck with your ideas and philosophies.

"You have to change your management thinking because progress is progress.

"You cannot stop that. For Manchester United, you can't spot that, there has to be the goal you're going towards all the time."

Meanwhile, Ferguson has admitted that last year's Champions League exit at the hands of Real Madrid was one of his biggest disappointments in the game.

He told MUTV: "I always felt our record in Europe should have been better. Last year sums it up.

"The Nani sending off was a kick in the teeth for me. From a winning position against Real the game was taken away by a really, really ridiculous decision.

"I knew (it was my last chance at winning the Champions League). I just couldn't go to the press conference. I was gutted for everyone.

"The preparation for the game was fantastic. The players' concentration was teriffic and we were in control of the match - we could have scored five - but it was taken away from us by that shocking decision.

"I loved the European final (when United beat Chelsea in 2008) - I must admit - but it's not an easy tournament now because all the best teams are in there."

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