Premier League: England boss Roy Hodgson hails 'magician' Sir Alex Ferguson

Hodgson - Ferguson's a magician

Roy Hodgson: Praise for Sir Alex Ferguson

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England boss Roy Hodgson has paid tribute to Sir Alex Ferguson after he claimed his 13th league championship with Manchester United.

Ferguson secured the title on Monday after a 3-0 win over Aston Villa, and Hodgson was the latest to add his praise for the veteran United chief.

"It is incredible, the most incredible thing is being able to do it, year after year," he told Sky Sports.

"There is no doubt there is a certain lack of appetite that comes with winning things, it is very difficult to be as hungry for your second title as you were for your first so it must be even harder for your 25th title, or whatever it is if we take all Alex's titles together.

"if we talk about magic in football the only magicians I know are people like Sir Alex Ferguson who year after year keep producing incredible performances from his teams and players and keeps building teams from the ashes of the previous teams."

Roy Hodgson

"And we are talking about someone with incredible ability and an incredible ability to keep himself fresh, just how many teams has he rebuilt? His teams have won 13 league titles and goodness knows how many cups, so there is not much we can say really other than we would all like to know how he does it and we would all like to know the secret.

"And if we talk about magic in football the only magicians I know are people like Sir Alex Ferguson who year after year keep producing incredible performances from his teams and players and keeps building teams from the ashes of the previous teams."

Hodgson was speaking at the National Football Centre, where England's first ever manager has been celebrated.

Hodgson and the centre's chairman David Sheepshanks revealed a new statue of Sir Walter Winterbottom, who would have turned 100 last month.

United legend Sir Bobby Charlton insists thoughts have already turned to retaining their crown next season.

"Alex will already be planning next year," said the 75-year-old. "As soon as we won against Villa, his thoughts will have been on next year.

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"We've got quite a busy tour of Asia and Australia in the summer and then when they come back from that it will be the start of the campaign to win the league again and who is to stop him?"

Ferguson, 71, has flirted with retirement in the past but shows no sign of calling it a day at the moment having clocked up 26 years at Old Trafford.

"He never talks about it and I wouldn't deem to talk about it myself, really," said Charlton.

"What I want is for it to continue the way it is at the moment.

"But we all get older and Alex will get older, the decision will be made and it will be a sensational performance because he has a great talent for winning.

"He wants to win and I think some of the newspapers would love to find out what Alex is going to do with his future. But I can't help you, because I don't know.

"And I don't ask any questions, either, just in case I trigger something!

"But he's been marvellous and everything that Manchester United wanted. He's been a major success and is the greatest manager there's ever been. It's unquestioned.

"But if you wanted to find out when he's going to change and have someone else in command, the only person who will ever give you a proper answer is Alex."

Charlton, who visited St George's Park to attend the unveiling of a bust of legendary England manager Sir Walter Winterbottom, cannot praise Ferguson's methods highly enough.

"He is such a motivator and he's in control totally of his squad," he said. "I'm happy just to say 'on you go, Al, you just do it the way you've always done it'.

"It shows in the performances and the goals that we're scoring. We have lots and lots of goalscorers now and most of them are pretty young, so the future looks pretty good.

"He reads the game and knows the game. He finds that young players are really important in the future of the club.

"Then when you've got someone like Robin van Persie, at 29, he has been a success. Alex wants the younger players who come through to be that successful too."

Van Persie has admitted his wonder volley at Old Trafford last night was his best goal for United.

His boss believes the sublime effort deserves to clinch the goal-of-the-season prize.

And whilst Van Persie accepts there was an element of good fortune about his effort, the former Arsenal man recognises it was a special strike.

"It is hard," Van Persie told MUTV. "Maybe if you look at the day, the occasion and the importance of the goal it was my best one.

"It was a great pass from Wayne (Rooney) for a start. He had to spot my run because I went in front of Ron Vlaar.

"It was straight into my path. I was counting my steps. The only thing I had to do was time it right and keep my body straight, level with the ball.

"You need to be a bit lucky with those goals because most of them go over or wide. That didn't, which was a big relief."

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