Ferguson launches sly dig at Hughes
2009-12-10 - Added by
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has declared that 'never in a million years' did he expect Manchester City counterpart Mark Hughes to cut it as a manager during the Welshman's time at Old Trafford.
Ferguson was giving his thoughts on which of the current United crop would go on to carve out management careers when he made the claim, which was no doubt meant as a subtle dig at the City supremo.
Hughes won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups during two spells at Old Trafford as a player before going on to quickly forge a career as a manager, taking up the helm of his national side, Blackburn and now City.
And despite the fact that Hughes spent seven years under his stewardship at United, Fergie admitted he did not envisage the City boss as one of those who he considered an obvious candidate to go into management.
"It can be difficult to pinpoint who would make it as a manager," he is quoted as saying on skysports.com.
"For instance, nobody here thought Mark Hughes would become a manager, never in a million years, and we all thought Bryan Robson was a certainty to be a top manager."
Hughes riled his opposite number at United when the Citizens commissioned a goading poster of former United player Carlos Tevez when the Argentine completed his move to Eastlands in the summer.
Ferguson responded by dismissing City as having a "small club mentality", but many believed his cantankerous outburst was prompted by the fact that with their exorbitant spending, Hughes' side now posed a real threat to his own.
And the veteran manager remained typically unflustered when asked whether he felt intimidated by the spending of the likes of City and Chelsea, considering United's own modest investment in recent years.
"You don't know where the next deluge of money's going to come from. You just have to say, 'Here's another challenge.' We won't be afraid of it."
You could have fooled us Fergie.