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I'll never be as good as Big Jock Says SIR ALEX FERGUSON; MAN UTD v SPURS Wembley, kick-off 3pm Live on Sky Sports CARLING CUP.

SIR ALEX FERGUSON last night insisted he doesn't have what it takes to eclipse his hero Jock Stein.

Celtic legend Stein is the only manager to have completed a quadruple - after his Lisbon Lions claimed a domestic treble in 1967 and landed the European Cup.

But Fergie has a chance to top that at Manchester United this season by winning five major trophies in one memorable campaign.

His troops have already been crowned ClubWorld champions and go in search of their second trophy in the Carling Cup Final against Spurs today.

Fergie's men are also favourites to claim a third successive Premiership crown and look well placed in the FA Cup and Champions League.

But the Old Trafford boss insists he isn't interested in beating Stein, the man he worked under as assistant manager of Scotland.

Ferguson said: "Equalling Jock is not something that motivates me.

"You make your own history at United rather than emulate someone else. I don't think we can win everything anyway.

"In cup football you can lose a game quite easily with a deflected shot or something like that.

"It only takes a slip in this game and you're finished. So we have to be sensible about our chances.

"I have never thought of equalling Jock's record. I had forgotten all about it - although I do remember he also won the Glasgow Cup in 1967 and some good teams played in that.

"What Jock did was incredible. Winning the European Cup with a 14-man squad all from within a 25-mile radius of Celtic Park was unbelievable. It was fantastic.

"Bill Shankly summed Jock up best by saying he was immortal."

Ferguson has never forgotten the debt of gratitude he owes to Stein from his early days in management with East Stirling, St Mirren and Aberdeen.

And he was sitting next to the great man when he suffered a fatal heart attack at the end of a World Cup qualifier at Ninian Park in 1985.

Ferguson said: "Jock was way ahead of his time with things like tactics and innovations.

"I was lucky because I spent a year-and-a-half working with him and I loved him. I remember asking why Jock never criticised players and got my most important piece of advice.

"He asked why should he hurt a player's family by criticising him in public. All you do is make enemies of their cousins, uncles, aunties, mothers, pals, teachers and milkmen. So why do it?"

Fergie's finest season as a gaffer came in 1999 when United lifted the league, FA Cup and European Cup.

But he would settle for just being kings of Europe again this term.

The United boss said: "We have a fantastic, adaptable squad. Whenever I throw someone in they respond to the challenge.

"I would be happy to win just one thing this season - and my choice would be the Champions League.

"Winning it a fourth time - to be up there with Ajax, Bayern and Liverpool - is more important than equalling Liverpool's title record."


Immortal beloved: Ferguson learned so much in his spell with Stein (inset) at Scotland and insists he can't top his hero
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 1, 2009
Next Article:Earn with your Spurs; CARLING CUP.

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