Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he was saddened by the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, who was sacked by Chelsea on Sunday.
The Scot was speaking prior to his own side's 3-1 win over Tottenham which kept them hot on the tails of neighbours City in the Premier League title race.
Villas-Boas was shown the door at Stamford Bridge just 24 hours after watching his side suffer a 1-0 defeat at in-form West Brom.
The 34-year-old was appointed at the start of the season following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti, but has endured a difficult time at the helm.
A run of just five wins from the last 16 games saw the Blues slide out of the top four, while they remain in real danger of crashing out of both the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup in the next week-and-a-half.
Ferguson feels the former FC Porto boss needed more time at Stamford Bridge, telling Sky Sports: "The news is not surprising to me really.
"There was all the build-up in the media and obviously the results haven't been kind to him. But it is disappointing because he is a young manager.
"When you are young you need time and obviously in this industry you don't get a lot of time unfortunately, so it is sad in a way.
"I hope he does well because he has got the potential. His work at Porto can't be ignored and I hope he comes back into the game soon."