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'The best in the history of football' - Pochettino reveals his admiration for Sir Alex Ferguson

10:24 GMT 12/01/2019
Sir Alex Ferguson Mauricio Pochettino
The Tottenham boss claims the legendary Scot is an "encyclopedia of football" and that he's an inspiration to the Argentine

Mauricio Pochettino has spoken glowingly about Sir Alex Ferguson, praising Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's decision to have the legendary Scot involved again at Manchester United.

Solskjaer was appointed interim boss at Old Trafford back in December and recently invited Sir Alex to the club's Carrington training ground to speak to the players.

There had been concerns over the former United manager's health, with Ferguson undergoing emergency surgery for a brain haemorrhage last year.

And Pochettino is delighted to see that the 77-year-old is back involved in football again, insisting he is a huge admirer of the man who guided United to 13 top-flight league titles and two Champions League wins.

He told Sky Sports: "It is fantastic news because he is football, Sir Alex means football. For him to be involved is massively important.

"Did I send best wishes when he was ill? Yes, I did. I cannot hide my admiration and relationship with him. He was one of the people I admired the most, an inspiration.

"We had a very nice lunch in London [in 2016] and since then we have kept a good relationship. We are football people.

"Has Ferguson given United a new energy? He is the best manager in the history of football. To see him every day is massive. He is an encyclopedia of football."

United face Tottenham at Wembley on Sunday in what is Solskjaer's biggest test since replacing Jose Mourinho. 

Roy Keane once famously claimed that Sir Alex would tell his players "Lads, it's Tottenham" in reference to them being so confident of beating Spurs in the past, but Pochettino thinks things have changed now.

He added: "We've beaten them the last three times at home in the Premier League - twice at White Hart Lane and once at Wembley.

"I don't know what happened in the past but games like Tuesday's semi-final against Chelsea please me a lot. Maybe our performance wasn't the best but we competed very well.

"The team is very competitive, that is true. I don't know if that was the case in the past between the two teams."

Pochettino is the favourite to land the United job on a permanent basis in the summer, but,should they want to appoint the Argentine, they will likely face strong resistance from Spurs chairman Daniel Levy.

On Levy, Pochettino said: "He is not an easy person to do business with. You have to give him credit because when he came here 16 years ago Tottenham was a completely different club. They were mid-table, and mid-table for facilities.

"But today we are in the top for facilities and for the last few years the club is fighting against the big sides."