Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has defended Sunderland counterpart Martin O'Neill.

The Northern Irishman makes his first visit to United with Sunderland on Saturday.

"There was a question to him last week which was absolutely ridiculous," Sir Alex said at his Friday press conference.

"A journalist or a TV guy asked him if he still had self-belief. Martin O'Neill has won three titles with Celtic, he's taken them to a UEFA Cup final, he's been at Aston Villa, he's been at Leicester City… what a silly question.

"It's an insult, an absolute insult to him. And I'm glad his chairman is supporting him because he's an outstanding manager."