EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEWS

08/09/2008 09:36, Report by Steve Bartram

Man of Steele

Sir Alex Ferguson's reputation for always getting his man also applies to his coaching staff.

The manager was therefore delighted when Eric Steele agreed to succeed the retired Tony Coton and head up United's goalkeeping department, only weeks after taking a job at Blackburn...

Tell us about, Eric…
I was born in Newcastle - I’m a Geordie and proud of it. I was one of the first to come out of Wallsend Boys Club where people like Michael Carrick, Alan Shearer and Peter Beardsley came from. I played for England schoolboys before I signed with Newcastle at 18. I later joined Peterborough, Brighton, Watford and Derby.

In 1988, when aged 34, I retired and started part-time coaching at Derby. I worked at Leeds United for two years, then Manchester City – that’s where I worked with Tony Coton for the first time. When Steve McClaren joined Derby he made me a full-time goalkeeping coach from 1996 to 2001. Then John Gregory took me to Aston Villa and I spent five-and-a-half years there, then went to City again last February 2007. After Mark Hughes brought in his staff to City I went to Blackburn under Paul Ince and then United called me.

Tell us how you know TC…
I coached Tony Coton at City, then he rang to say

1 of 2 Next 

The Manager's Verdict

"Eric Steele is doing very well.

"We were sorry to lose Tony Coton but Eric was always our first choice to replace him.

"He's got great experience from Aston Villa and Man City and he was our number-one target, no doubt. We outlined him as the coach we wanted.

"Edwin van der Sar, Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak have all been impressed with him. We're delighted to have him here."

- Sir Alex Ferguson

@ManUtd
on Twitter