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Fergie expected Villas-Boas sacking

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says he was not surprised by Chelsea's decision to sack Andre Villas-Boas, lamenting the lack of time afforded to managers in the modern game.

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Villas-Boas was axed on Sunday after a 1-0 defeat at West Brom was deemed the final straw for owner Roman Abramovich following a tumultuous first season for the Portuguese at Stamford Bridge. Ferguson, who has celebrated 25 years in charge at Old Trafford, believes the Blues' decision is indicative of major clubs demanding immediate success of their managerial staff.

"The news is not surprising to me really," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "There was all the build-up in the media and obviously the results haven't been kind to him. But it is disappointing because he is a young manager.

"When you are young you need time and obviously in this industry you don't get a lot of time unfortunately - so it is sad in a way.

"I hope he does well because he has got the potential. His work at Porto can't be ignored and I hope he comes back into the game soon."

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has emerged as favourite to take up the position following Villas-Boas' departure, according to widespread reports.

The Real Madrid boss was seen shopping for houses in London last Tuesday, but prior to Los Merengues' 5-0 thrashing of Espanyol on Sunday, Mourinho refused to be drawn on speculation linking him to a Stamford Bridge return.

"I don't have to give explanations to anyone concerning my private life," said Mourinho. "When one of us leaves Madrid, we inform the club out of courtesy. I don't have to tell you [the press] anything. On Monday I am going away again."

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