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Five Aside
By ESPN Staff

FA were hasty to sack Mac - Fergie

Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced Steve McClaren will bounce back from the crushing disappointment of being sacked as England manager.

Ferguson's former assistant at Manchester United was dismissed yesterday morning just 12 hours after a 3-2 defeat against Croatia at Wembley which saw them eliminated from the qualifying stages of Euro 2008.

Ferguson questioned the Football Association's extreme haste in getting rid of McClaren, especially considering England do not have another game until February.

He has already been in touch with McClaren by text message and feels the former Middlesbrough manager will revive his career.

'Of course he will bounce back,' said Ferguson.

'He's not the only person that's been sacked. He's young enough to come back.

'I cannot understand why they made the decision at 8.30 the next morning. They don't have a match until February.

'I just think they should have waited a little bit.'

Ferguson did however hint that he had advised McClaren not to take the job in the first place.

The advice was nothing to do with the task of managing the England team but more due to his relative youth.

'He is on the young side and I told him that at the time,' said Ferguson.

'International management is difficult and I think it is hard trying to make yourself feel as though you are busy and using your energy wisely.

'I always thought Jock Stein was a perfect age to be national team manager.

'Wherever you went with him people would come up and shake his hand. He could roll out his record in front of everyone. I just think national team managers should be experienced.'

Having briefly managed Scotland part-time in 1965, Stein had enjoyed almost three decades in club management before taking the national team job full time in 1978.

Following Stein's death in 1985 of a heart attack during Scotland's match with Wales in Cardiff , Ferguson took temporary charge of the Scotland team before joining United a year later.