Michael Owen has spoken of his respect for Sir Alex Ferguson, looking at all the aspects which make him, in Owen’s mind, ‘the best’.

“I am with the master,” said Owen. “What he has won, what he has done over 20 years, he has to be the best. He talks to us as men. ­Others could say the same, but ­because it comes from him it means so much more. Everyone is intrigued as to what he’s is like. They want to know what makes him suc­cessful, what makes him tick, what makes him the best. The thing that stands out for me is his winning mentality. That transfers to his team, and his staff. Everything is geared to winning. If you don’t win it’s a darker place to be the next day. Sometimes, if something has been said outside the group, or if the chips are down, Sir Alex delivers the sort of motivational team talk that makes you really want to get out there. Other times he is more tactical. He varies things a lot, but everyone knows who is boss. As much as he has his finger on the pulse of every aspect of this club, he is fantastic at ­delegation, trusting his staff and players. No matter who you are, in whatever business, you’re only as good as the people who work for you. He gives those around him confidence. To have the responsibility of managing Manchester United is colossal. You have to dedicate your life to it, and he has certainly done that. He has his joys outside the game, horse racing and his family, but you can’t imagine him not getting up in the morning and coming to work.”