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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Sir Alex Ferguson insists managerial consistency pays off in the long run

Sir Alex Ferguson tells ESPN FC it was always going to be difficult to replace a manager at Manchester United after 27-years in charge and that change is only natural when new managers take over.

Sir Alex Ferguson has touted the benefits for clubs who stick with a manager, saying "you get consistency and you get success."

In an era where only one Premier League manager has been at his club for more than three years, it's difficult for a club to find the consistency that Old Trafford legend Ferguson had in his 1,500 games in charge of Manchester United from 1986 to 2013.

But Ferguson said in an interview with ESPN FC that patient clubs will be rewarded with long-term success if they resist the urge to constantly change managers.

"There's no evidence that sacking a manager gives you success," Ferguson said. "But there is evidence at Manchester United, at Nottingham Forest, at Arsenal that [if] you retain the manager for long periods, you get consistency and you get success."

Ferguson's hand-picked replacement David Moyes struggled to impose his system at United, lasting just 11 months before being replaced by Louis van Gaal.

The 73-year-old Ferguson called Moyes' situation merely "unfortunate."

"It's difficult, I think, replacing a guy who's been there 27 years," Ferguson said. "In terms of my philosophy and how I did things, all the staff were mine. ...

"They say it's better -- the second person coming after Alex Ferguson would be better off.

"David Moyes was unfortunate, it didn't work for him. Good man, good manager.

Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes
David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson at Man United but lasted less than a year in charge.

"And Louis van Gaal was finished with Holland, so I think there was a correlation there in terms of giving him the job.

"And he's got great experience [at] Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Ajax -- he's won the European Cup with Ajax -- so he's got experience and of course he's making changes.

"And this is going back to my earlier point, when you change a coach you change a whole system. He's brought in six or seven new people. David Moyes brought in six or seven new people. And that's why I think consistency works."

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger is the longest-tenured Premier League manager at 19 years, and Ferguson gave his former rival credit for sticking to his own style over his career despite a lack of recent titles.

"It's just like me if I hadn't progressed the club after the '94 team or the '99 team I would maybe having the same problems as Arsene, but he's stayed with his conviction, he's stayed with what he believes in.

"When all the pressure -- I'm thinking about the pressure I said to a few of my friends -- who are they going to get to replace Arsene Wenger, you know, who are they going to get who is better than Arsene Wenger? And that's why they don't do [sack him], that's why they've stuck by him."

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