Fergie will stay until ‘his last breath’

PATRICE EVRA believes Alex Ferguson will remain in the Manchester United hot-seat until ‘his last breath’.

The legendary boss, who has already clocked up over 23 years at the Old Trafford helm, previously announced that he would be stepping at the end of the 2001/02 campaign, before making a dramatic U-turn after realising he would be lost without the stresses of Premier League management.

Ferguson may be closing in on his 70th birthday, but he has lost none of his enthusiasm for the game and remains as passionate and determined to succeed as ever.

French full-back Evra has admitted that the experienced Scot danced into the dressing room like a ‘child’ after seeing United overcome arch-rivals Manchester City in the Carling Cup semi-final last week, proving that winning means as much to him now as it has ever done.

That continuous drive to be the best is unlikely to ever fade, and for that reason Evra believes Ferguson will never be able to drag himself away from the Red Devils.

“Sir Alex is a child. We saw it against Manchester City. He’s so passionate,’’ Evra said. “He was jumping up and down like a child after that game.

“You could be forgiven for thinking he’d never won a game before!

“He doesn’t see himself taking it easy at home reading a book or watching TV. Personally I think that would bore him.

“I don’t think he will call an end to his career. As long as he’s strong he will carry on.

“He will stay until his last breath.”

Evra may believe his boss will never voluntarily leave Old Trafford but the man himself has revealed his career in professional football was almost over before it started.

Ferguson said he was so disillusioned with football at one point in his playing career that he almost quit the game and emigrated to Canada.

However, he had a change of heart after harsh words from his mother and a “life-changing” hat-trick against Rangers.

Ferguson, 68, may be the most successful British manager of all time but back in the 1960s he was struggling to make his mark as centre-forward with St Johnstone.

He said: “I was part-time and in a reserve game against Airdrie I broke my eyebrow, cheekbone and nose and was out for months. They put this massive plaster cast on my face.

“After I came back from the injury I played three reserve games. We lost 8-1, 7-0 and 9-2. I said ‘that’s it – I am finished’. I took out papers to emigrate to Canada.

“On the Friday, my brother’s girlfriend phoned up my manager at St Johnstone and told him I had the flu. But when I arrived home from a night at the swimming baths with my pals, my mother tore into me.

“She said, ‘I’ve had a telegram from your manager – get down to the telephone booth and call him’. The manager said: ‘Report to the Bath Hotel tomorrow, you’re playing against Rangers’.

“I scored a hat trick and became the first player to do so against Rangers at Ibrox – it changed my life. I became a full-time footballer in the summer and never looked back.”

Meanwhile Owen Hargreaves has been left out of United’s 25-man squad for the Champions League knockout stages.

The 29-year-old England midfielder has been sidelined since 21 September 2008 after undergoing surgery to cure a tendinitis problem in both knees.


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