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Sir Alex Ferguson assesses the top Premier League managers

Fergie runs the rule over Pochettino, Mourinho, Wenger and Conte...

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Sir Alex Ferguson tells us how retirement is going and what he makes of the current crop of top managers.

Sir Alex Ferguson has had his say on the managers from the Premier League's top clubs in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports.

Ferguson was speaking to Sky Sports at an event for the League Managers' Association, who have named their Manager of the Year award after the former United boss.

What does the Scot think of Jose Mourinho's first season at Manchester United, and what about Mauricio Pochettino's young Spurs side? Is Arsene Wenger being unfairly treated, and what of the challenges from Merseyside and the other half of Manchester?

On... Jose Mourinho

"He's a very talented manager, no question.

"I think United have done really well. I think with the draws, they've played really well in a lot of those draws. If even six of those draws turned to wins, that's 12 points, and they'd have been up there.

Chelsea's Portugese Manager Jose Mourinho (L) and Manchester United's Manager Sir Alex Ferguson (R) greet each other before their F.A Community Shield matc
Image: Ferguson says he still talks to Mourinho regularly

"Hopefully we can start winning things, because I'm sure that's what (Jose) wants. We do still chat, as I did with Louis van Gaal and with David Moyes. United directors in my time were always very supportive of me, and I hope that continues for them."

On... Mauricio Pochettino

"He's got a lot of youth in his team, which augurs well for the future. I believe in that, I've believed in (bringing through) youth all my life.

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"The value is two-fold. One, they'll always remember the person who gave them their start in life, and secondly, they create a loyalty base that is there for life. The young players we had coming through still keep in touch with me, and that is an indication of how well it works.

Mauricio Pochettino is keen to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson
Image: Mauricio Pochettino is overseeing a long-term project at Spurs, says Ferguson

"I don't think short-termism works, I really don't. I think there are teams that can buy all the time and remain successful, but on a general theme, I don't think short-termism works. With Tottenham, to me, it looks like there is a long-termism there, they're building something that looks pretty good."

On... Arsene Wenger

"At the moment, of course, with the ridiculous situation of the pressure Arsene is under, I just wonder if they realise the job he's done. The most amazing thing about him is this: he has come through a forest of criticism for months now, and has never bowed. He has seen it right through, he has shown a determination, a stubbornness. I think when you look at that, it's a quality, and I'm not sure they'll get another manager like that.

"It's quite easy to say 'Get rid of him', but who do you get? Who do you get in to keep that club the way they are for the next 20 years? I really feel sorry for him because I think he's shown outstanding qualities, and I think he has handled the whole situation. I don't know many that have done that.

Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United and Arsene Wenger of Arsenal walk off
Image: Arsene Wenger and Ferguson enjoyed countless battles over 17 years

"Has long-termism vanished? I hope not, because I think the stability that a manager like Arsene Wenger has brought to Arsenal, and Brian Clough at Nottingham Forest, myself at United...there's no evidence that sacking a manager brings success."

On... Antonio Conte

"Fantastic, you see his energy on the pitch. There's a true saying that the team mirrors the manager, and that's what they've done with him. His team have stayed top of the league for so long. They lost to Arsenal and Liverpool early on, but since then they've been up."

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 14:  Sir Alex Ferguson (L) speaks with Juventus manager Antonio Conte during the UEFA Europa League Final match between Sevilla FC and S
Image: Ferguson with Antonio Conte at the 2014 Europa League final

On... City and Liverpool

"They have always been threats, but at Manchester United you have to accept the challenge. At Manchester United, if you can't, you shouldn't be there. When Chelsea came along, when Arsenal came along, we accepted the challenge, we got on with it, relished it, with players that were quite capable of handling that.

"That's exactly what Manchester United should be: accept the challenge - it's good for you!"

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