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Man Utd legend Ferguson: Chelsea should stick with Mourinho

Paul Ellis,Pierre-Philippe Marcou | AFP | Getty Images

The billionaire owner of English soccer club Chelsea would be "foolish" to sack struggling coach Jose Mourinho, the former Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson has warned.

After making its worst start ever to an English Premier League season, London-based Chelsea, under the leadership of Mourinho, has slumped towards the bottom of the table.

But Ferguson, who led Manchester United to over 30 trophies in his near 30-year career at the club, said it would be a mistake for Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich to sack his old rival.

"I think that he's (Abramovich) sacked so many coaches in the last 10 years that I'm sure he has learnt by it. He has got to trust…that Jose can turn it around. There is no point in sacking one of the best coaches of all time…It would be foolish of him to take the step to sack him, that would be bad management," Ferguson said during an onstage discussion at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in London on Monday.

"All good leaders will eventually find a solution…and I think it will get back to normal…I know the guy and I know that the work he has done in football, I can't see it lasting long," he added.

Mourinho managed Chelsea between 2004 and 2007, during which time he took the club to its first English Premier League title and its first top-flight championship league trophy in 50 years. But his second stint at Chelsea, which began in 2013, has seen mixed fortunes.

The club's latest defeat came to newly promoted Bournemouth on Saturday in what was seen as a shock loss.


Gary Neville ‘incredible determination’

Ferguson also gave his thoughts on the appointment of Gary Neville – one of his former players – as head coach at Spain's Valencia soccer club.

The ex-Man United boss said Neville visited him at his house when he heard the news and received his backing.

"He came round the house and I said 'be yourself'," Ferguson said.

Ferguson said Phil Neville was always a better player than his brother Gary, but the latter "made himself a footballer" through "incredible determination."

The Scot also told of how Neville would wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning whilst playing at Manchester United and read all of the press coverage about him. He would then complain to the club's public relations head, but Ferguson said this showed Neville's passion.

"This incredible waking up with a quest for something, a challenge, and that is Gary, he is an incredible human being. Everything he has touched has turned to gold," Ferguson said.