Manchester: Sir Alex Ferguson has voiced his support for cross-town rival Roberto Mancini in the Manchester City manager’s much-publicised dispute with Carlos Tevez.
The Argentinian forward, who played for Ferguson at Manchester United before signing for City in the summer of 2009, is currently suspended by his club after apparently refusing to come off the bench against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Ferguson, who has enjoyed a number of verbal bouts with City and their Italian manager, refused to be drawn into specific comments about his former player Tevez.
But he made it clear that he supports Mancini wholeheartedly and has been impressed by the Italian’s management style this week.
"I have nothing to do with it," said Ferguson. "But I think Roberto Mancini has come out showing his strength of character, his strength of management. That's important in today's management. That's it.
"We have all experienced our own difficulties in management. You cope with it best you can. My own experience is strong management is important. There is nobody more important than a manager at a football club."
Intriguingly, former United midfielder Paul Scholes revealed this week that he also once staged a similar "strike," refusing to play for United in a League Cup tie in 2001.
Ferguson, however, remembers that incident differently and believes the circumstances were not the same.
"I don't think it's as strong as that," said Ferguson of the Scholes incident a decade ago. "I remember we had a really weakened team going down to Arsenal and I was looking around for one or two first team regulars to balance out.
"I can't even remember all the players but we had a really disjointed team and a few injuries. I asked Paul and he said he didn't really fancy it at all.
"I don't think it was exactly a refusal to play. He felt I was picking him as a guinea pig to go down there simply because he was a local boy, maybe.
"He felt guilt with that maybe now and it's written that way. But it was not at the level that it was a refusal."