Manchester United’s players have been paying tribute to manager Sir Alex Ferguson as the Scot prepares to complete 20 years in charge at Old Trafford on November 6.
Midfielder Paul Scholes, who has played his entire career at the club, is just one of the many players grateful that Ferguson changed his mind about quitting in 2002.
“I don’t think anyone really knew how he would have coped not being able to come into the club every day and seeing someone else do his job,” said Scholes.
“He did announce he was going but deep down, we all expected him to stay on.
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say the players actively persuaded him to stay. I don’t think you can change the mind of someone like that.
“But it was no surprise when he told us he was staying and the players were as thrilled as everyone else.”
Scholes revealed that there is another side to Ferguson other than the abrasive character sometimes witnessed in public.
“With the manager the players always comes first,” said Scholes.
“If something is not right, or he is not happy, he will tell you. But those conversations stay within the dressing room and never leave.
“He never slags anyone off publicly. He knows how important players are and he sticks up for them to the hilt.
“That isn’t always the case with managers these days but it makes you feel wanted.”
Current United skipper Gary Neville believes Ferguson could stay for another ten years at the club
“It would not surprise me if he was to go on for five to 10 years,” Neville said in The Sun.
“Why should he leave? He’s as determined as ever.
“It’s a continual challenge to be at this club. I know that from being a player, I know that from being a fan. That will keep him young.”