SIR ALEX ARTICLES

09/05/2013 07:17, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Neville hails Sir Alex

Gary Neville talks exclusively to MUTV about the impact Sir Alex Ferguson has had on his life...

"I didn't see this [Sir Alex's retirement] coming at all. I wrote a piece last week saying that his job is never complete and he always moves forward and how I could never see him sat in the directors' box peering down watching another manager doing his job with his players on his pitch. It's caught us all by surprise and I am stunned and shocked by it, but obviously completely respect his decision. He's been an excellent judge throughout his life and he'll be a good judge of his situation now and feels this is the right time.

"It's a great loss for football. Looking at the club, the football United play and Sir Alex Ferguson himself, they are a massive part of the Premier League and it's a massive loss all round.

"It's a great job [for someone]. To manage Manchester United, wow, that is the ultimate job. There are three simple things to it for me - play attacking, attractive football, bring young players through and win a championship. Sounds simple! People ask how you replace him and those three things are the criteria if you like which will make a Manchester United manager.

"On a personal note there have been so many great memories. The first championship title [in 1993] when I didn't even play for him was a major thing for me. I'd argued most of my life about how great our football club was and it was the manager who delivered that first championship. I'll never forget how he used to pat us all on the back before every match and then after every game walk round the dressing room and speak to us all. It was the little, simple things for me.

"I just feel honoured and privileged to have been able to play under him - it was an incredible experience. You talk about your parents being the biggest example in life and I would go along with that, but he was a father figure for all of us who came through the ranks and he helped form huge parts of our characters. We all listened to him, soaked up every little piece of information he passed onto us, believed in him and trusted in him. He's been such an influential person in every player's life who has played under him.

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