Sir Alex Ferguson believes Tony Pulis and Mick McCarthy have every right to motivate their players up before matches.
Fulham midfielder Danny Murphy recently said the managers of teams such as Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn were sending out the players “so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems”.
Murphy has clarified his comments, saying he did not mean to suggest the managers had sent players out to hurt others, but Ferguson feels there is nothing wrong with adopting an aggressive style in the battle for Premier League survival.
“It is an insult to the managers of the teams, because you couldn’t get two more honest guys than Tony Pulis and Mick McCarthy,” he told Inside United. “Their job is to get their players committed and motivated. There is nothing wrong with that.
“I know more about Tony Pulis’ team because they have been in the league longer. They have always been honest.
“Mick was an aggressive player himself and his teams play in a similar way but you don’t get punished for that. You can’t say they are any different from any team that’s come out of the Championship to survive in the Premier League.
“Sometimes it takes years to get to the next level of play and maintain that higher standard.”
The severity of tackles in the league has come under scrutiny in the light of recent injuries, but Ferguson feels players expect too much protection.
“The players are babies now,” he said. “In my day, you had to hit someone with a hatchet before a referee booked you. It’s a different game now.”