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Dec 19, 2012

Ferguson still seething over last season

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is "still angry" about the surrender of the Premier League title to local rivals City last May.

• O'Neill: Van Persie is United's Messi
• Blog: Nani's fall from grace

• Jones: Vidic return boosts United

Speaking candidly to an audience at Harvard business school in Boston, Ferguson has conceded the scars left by Sergio Augero's last minute goal that stole the title away from his United side with the final kick of the season are yet to entirely heal.

"I've still got a wee bit of anger in me, thinking of how we threw the league away last season," he is quoted as saying in the Daily Mirror. "It was another day in the history of Manchester United. That's all it was. It created the drama that only United can produce. My motivation to the players will be that we can't let City beat us twice in a row."

Ferguson also hit out at clubs who change their managers at a rapid rate, as the manager who has been in charge at United for a remarkable 26 years suggests stability at the top it the best way to control the modern day player.

"Some English clubs have changed managers so many times that it creates power for the players in the dressing room and that is very dangerous," stated Ferguson. "Football management in the end is all about the players. You think you are a better player than they are, and they think they are a better manager than you are.

"The first thought for 99% of newly appointed managers is to make sure they win to survive. They bring experienced players in, often from their previous clubs, but I think it is important to build a structure for a football club, not just a football team You need a foundation. And there is nothing better than seeing a young player make it to the first team.

"The idea is that the younger players are developing and meeting the standards that the older ones have set before. For me the hardest thing is to let go of a player who has been a great guy, but all the evidence is on the football field. If you see the change, the deterioration, you have to start asking yourself what it is going to be like two years ahead."

Ferguson has contributed to a Harvard paper looking at the methods and paths he has used to achieve his historic success at Old Trafford and he admits the experience taught him a few lessons of his own.

"The part of the discussion from which I learned the most about myself was when they were discussing the balance between 'fear' and 'love' in my approach to managing people," he added.

"If you look at my history, there's all this hype about hair dryers and anger and so on, but the students acknowledged another side to it, which is more apt in terms of how I have fostered relations with people and developed the team over the years.

"The reality is not always how the press portray it. I felt the students were quite accurate in terms of how they analysed this aspect, questioning and recognizing this important dynamic of management."

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