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Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson
"These are special years"
 real 28k

Sunday, 23 April, 2000, 09:23 GMT 10:23 UK
Sir Alex: 'Best Man Utd side ever'

David Beckham scored with a trademark free kick
Sir Alex Ferguson has hailed his Premiership champions as "the best Manchester United side ever."

After Man United clinched the championship following their 3-1 win against Southampton at The Dell, Ferguson said: "It is fantastic to have won the league, the number of goals we've scored and the performance of the players."

Ferguson, celebrating his sixth title with United in eight years, added: "The great thing for me has been the way the players forget about last season's treble immediately and got on with the job straight away.

I think this team has the potential to get even better

Man Utd winger Ryan Giggs

"It is a great league. We had the defeat by Newcastle but the players woke up and realised they had to improve.

"They have reacted well to defeats - including the Real Madrid defeat.

"I think this is a maturing team, they are getting better all the time. I think they are the best side Manchester United have ever had.

"The great things is that the longer teams stay together and grow together the better they become."

He told Sky Sports: "We are going to set a target of winning the remaining four games.

"Six titles in eight years is marvellous. It was a good start for us. We go into our stride straight away and David Beckham's free-kick was just the right range for him."

We had to go out and show a good performance after the Champions League defeat against Real Madrid and we did that

Midfielder David Beckham

Welsh wizard Ryan Giggs reiterated his manager's comments and said: "Not only do I think this is the best United side ever - I think it has the potential to get even better."

He added: "Last season we had to win our last game. This time we could afford not to win today and still win the title.

"We've never really had a bad run. We weren't playing particularly well before Christmas but we were still getting results.

"We've got goals coming from everywhere. That's the way we play. If you look at the goalscorers this year there's six or seven of us who've scored around the 10 mark."

David Beckham, who set United on their way with the first goal from a free kick, said: "I think we've played some great football in the last few months. We deserve this one.

"It's another championship for us. We wanted to get it over as quickly as possible and we've done it.

"We had to go out and show a good performance after Wednesday's the Champions League defeat against Real Madrid and we did that.

"We were all disappointed at Wednesday but we've come here and won the league."

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