Duncan Ferguson reveals he’s ready for management after a call with Man United legend Sir Alex

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Duncan Ferguson says he’s ready to step into football management after having a one-on-one conversation with Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 50-year-old has had two forays into the life of a manager having twice taken charge of Everton on a caretaker basis, whilst the club searched for a suitable permanent appointment.

And now, Ferguson has revealed that after meeting with the legendary Scottish coach he feels prepared to take on the challenge himself.

Speaking to The Times, Ferguson said: ‘What a man. I have never really had the chance to sit down with him before and it was one of the best experiences of my life. Humbling. He was just phenomenal.

‘We spoke and spoke and spoke. Maybe we got along because we have the same name and the same tartan. At the end, he said it was my time. He said, ‘Be you,’ and that he would support me.’

Ferguson’s first stint as caretaker manager came after the sacking of Marco Silva in December 2019, when a 3-1 win over Chelsea in his first game in charge helped lift the Toffees out of the relegation zone.

‘There was more pressure on me the first time because the club was in the relegation zone when we faced Chelsea. A lot of pressure. If I had lost against Chelsea, there would have been no game No 2 for me. I was being judged on that game. My coaching career was on that game.

‘The new manager would have come in straightaway if I had lost. In through the front door and I would have gone out through the back door. No problem, that is how football is, but I was trying to push my career and save the club at the same time.’

He was going to leave the club to go into management after keeping the Blues up, but stayed due to the appeal of working alongside Carlo Ancellotti in the Goodison Park dugout. Having since left Everton, he’s now ready for a new chapter.

Ferguson continued: ‘It was incredibly difficult for me to leave Everton, a club that I love, but I had made up my mind more or less six months before that my time was up and that I had come as far as I possibly could.

‘I had to do the honourable thing. I think when you get interviewed for a job and don’t get it, it becomes a bit difficult. I didn’t want people thinking I was sitting back waiting for another shot at it. That was the first time I had been interviewed. I was turned down. In my mind that was it.

‘The right thing to do was to stay until the end of the season because the club wasn’t in a very good position at the time. I felt I should ease that transition with Frank coming in, support him the best I could, and then come the summer I would look to move. It was easier for me but, of course, driving out of the training ground for the last time was heart-breaking.

‘Frank didn’t want me to leave. I spoke to him two or three times, said what my plans were and I felt he genuinely wanted me to still be at the club. I think he will do well.

‘Frank is a great coach, a great communicator and the players like him. You have to get respect as a coach and he has that. He has invited me back to the training ground in the future and I have spoken to him a few times since I left.

‘Everton will finish mid-table comfortably. I don’t agree with all this talk about relegation. We were in a relegation dogfight last season, but Everton are not a relegation team by any stretch of the imagination.’

The Toffees are still waiting for their first Premier League win of the season after following two opening defeats with three draws.

Ferguson finished by reaffirming the belief in his own ability and claiming that he is ‘open to any challenge’.

He said: ‘I have always been my own man in a way. I will live and die by what I do, and not be scared to make a decision. I think I have that character in me to make decisions. But the key as a manager is, what have you got to work with? What have you got?

‘A lot of people do presentations and say, ‘This is what I am going to play and this is how I am going to do it.’ Then, when they are out on the grass and see what they have, they realise. Before you know it, the presentation is forgotten.

‘I am open to any challenge. As long as it is a good owner and I can improve a team. I am not scared of a challenge. If it is the right thing I will do it and give everything I have got. I am ready now to show what I have learnt and what I am all about.’

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