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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb, 28, 2008

Fergie: United kept me from going foreign

Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he considered working abroad but the magnetic appeal of Manchester United proved too strong. The Old Trafford boss was speaking ahead of the Premier League match against Fulham on Saturday when he pits his wits against Roy Hodgson, whose coaching CV reads like a travel brochure. While Ferguson has ruled over United for the past 21 years, his managerial counterpart in that time has covered all corners of the globe in pursuit of his craft. Hodgson is now hoping to put that vast experience to good use and prevent second-bottom Fulham being relegated. His work ethic certainly impresses Ferguson. 'Roy Hodgson has done what a lot of us would love to have done and work abroad, ' the United manager told www.leaguemanagers.com. 'I always remember Bobby Robson saying that the best thing he ever did was go to PSV, Sporting Lisbon, Porto and Barcelona. 'He was out of the country for maybe 10 or 12 years. Working in different climates with different cultures definitely broadens your education. 'I remember meeting Roy Hodgson in Malmo in 1987 when I had just joined Manchester United. Malmo were playing Ajax in the European Cup. 'Over the years he has gone to Inter Milan, Switzerland, Finland, Udinese, Blackburn etc... it's incredible all the teams that he has managed. 'You can see when he's interviewed he knows what he is talking about. 'Sometimes I used to say to myself `I'd love to have tried managing abroad sometime' but then it was difficult for me. 'My choices were cut off simply because I was the manager of Manchester United which is amazing and you don't leave Manchester United.' Ferguson aims to close the three point gap to leaders Arsenal at Craven Cottage and is adamant United will continue to allow their players to express themselves. With the likes of gifted young stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Anderson and Nani on their books, it is little wonder the manager looks forward with optimism. He said: 'The players have that joy of being at a club with a lot of ambition. 'It is good to see young players having the energy and the commitment to try and enjoy themselves. 'We work hard at making sure that they are relaxed in that respect with a responsibility to use their talents all the time to express themselves. 'We are fortunate in that it is easier for them than a lot of other players because they are exceptional talents.'

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