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Ex-Scotland boss Levein: Scottish working class helped Ferguson become so great

Former Scotland manager Craig Levein believes Sir Alex Ferguson's upbringing and background contributed to him becoming the world's best gaffer.

The Manchester United boss will retire at the end of the season after close to four decades of management which began with East Stirlingshire in 1974 and took in stints with St Mirren, Aberdeen, Scotland and United.

Ferguson won a total of 49 trophies during his managerial career and Levein feels his Scottish roots helped him become the man he is today.

"Sir Alex has got a grit about him. There is something really Scottish and working class about him," he said.

"There is something practical. It takes a clever man to keep things simple, but he found a successful formula and he did not deviate from it.

"He has had to change because football has changed, but his core principles have not and that is his great strength and the great strength of his club.

"My experiences of Sir Alex are on a personal level. For a man who has so much going on, he shows an amazing amount of patience and desire to help."

He added: "Scottish guys down there have asked questions, and so has Neil Lennon, and he has got time for everyone. I have never played for him really, but he is definitely looked upon as a father figure.

"He phoned me about players. He phoned me about Darren quite a lot. He's just an approachable, decent guy. We spoke about the Steven Fletcher situation and we spoke about a lot of things.

"He is the manager of the biggest club in the world, but never once did he not return a phone call."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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