14/12/2012 15:07, Report by James Tuck
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Boss defends O'Neill

Sir Alex Ferguson has launched a passionate defence of Sunderland counterpart Martin O’Neill, declaring him an “outstanding manager”.

O’Neill is under fire from some sections of the media after his side’s poor start to the season, though they moved out of the relegation zone with what was only their third victory of the season on Tuesday, 3-0 over Reading.
Having taken over at the Stadium of Light just over a year ago, the Northern Irishman makes his first visit to United with Sunderland on Saturday; he has previously brought Aston Villa and Leicester teams to Old Trafford.

“There was a question to him last week which was absolutely ridiculous,” Sir Alex said at his Friday press conference.

“A journalist or a TV guy asked him if he still had self-belief. Martin O’Neill has won three titles with Celtic, he’s taken them to a UEFA Cup final, he’s been at Aston Villa, he’s been at Leicester City… what a silly question.

“It’s an insult, an absolute insult to him. And I’m glad his chairman is supporting him because he’s an outstanding

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O'Neill v Ferguson

Martin O'Neill's managerial record against Manchester United:

Sunderland (Dec 2011 - present)
League: Lost 1

Aston Villa (Aug 2006 - Aug 2010)
League: Won 1, Drew 2, Lost 6
FA Cup: Lost 2
League Cup: Lost 1

Leicester City (Dec 1995 - Jun 2000)
League: Won 1, Drew 3, Lost 4
League Cup: Won 1

Overall (22 games)
Won 3, Drawn 5, Lost 14


Premier League