Sir Alex Ferguson, January 31st 2012

“I noticed Alan Hansen was at it again, saying we had not played well for one and a half years. I reckon that comment goes alongside his claim a few years ago that you don’t win anything with youngsters, and you know how he finished up with egg on his face after dismissing the Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Gary Neville crop of kids so foolishly. Maybe he was just trying to rattle us on the eve of going to his play his old club at Anfield in the FA Cup at the weekend. I don’t know how some of the critics come to their conclusions. After the Arsenal game, one [journalist] of the London papers said that we were the worst team he has seen. Yes, we have had our bad days – who doesn’t? – losing to Manchester City and then folding against Blackburn before going out of the FA Cup. Forget the fact we had 14 players out with injury for the Blackburn fixture and that we were missing a few at Liverpool. We won’t use injuries as a crutch, we will simply concentrate on getting our message across out on the pitch. I have every confidence we will give a good account of ourselves – even perhaps play well to convince pundit Hansen.”

Alan Hansen, February 1st 2012

“I really don’t know where that has come from. I never said that at any stage. What I said was that, over a period of 18 months, they haven’t been as good as they have been in the past. have also said that if you take the three teams at the top, Manchester United have consistently played worse than Tottenham and Manchester City. But it is to their credit that they are where they are and they will be the team to beat. In 1995 I said you can’t win anything with kids. In 2012, I never said you can’t win anything if you are hopeless.”

Sir Alex Ferguson, February 3rd 2012

“He tried to change it [what he said] by saying it was about our away form. I have read the transcript of what he said and he said we were woeful for the last year and a half. He didn’t mention away games. He’s dug himself a grave really. He’s got a responsible position in the role he has in football. It’s obvious to me that he said what he said in the week before we played Liverpool and I can understand that – he’s a former Liverpool player and Kenny is his pal. That’s no problem with me. He’s maybe tried to shake things up a bit but he should be more responsible really. When you think about it we won the league by nine points last season, made it to a European final and were in the FA Cup semi-final – we couldn’t have been that woeful.”