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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 16:26 GMT 17:26 UK
Robins calls it a day
Former Man Utd striker Mark Robins
Robins hasscored wherever he has played
Former Manchester United striker Mark Robins has announced his retirement.

Robins, who is credited with saving Sir Alex Ferguson's career, has called time after his release by Sheffield Wednesday following a knee injury.

The 34-year-old, who is now eyeing a career in management, said: "I've got 20 years experience which I'd like to pass on.

"I've always had a strong desire to become a manager," said Robins who is completing his Uefa coaching badges."

Robins played a pivotal role in helping United's dynasty take shape.

I'm proud to say I played an important part in the upturn in the club's fortunes with that goal against Forest
Mark Robins

After three barren years, United went into an FA Cup third round tie with Nottingham Forest amid speculation that defeat would spell the end for Ferguson.

A typically predatory Robins strike gave the Reds a 1-0 victory, bought Ferguson some time and built up enough momentum to take United through to FA Cup glory that season.

Robins said: "He's never said thanks to me for that goal.

"But growing up as a massive United fan, I'm proud to look back and say that I played an important part in the upturn in the club's fortunes, particularly with that goal against Forest."

Robins played for 11 clubs in his career and scored the first televised Premiership hat-trick when Norwich beat Oldham 3-2 during the 1992-93 season.

He is now looking to get into management, with a glowing reference from Ferguson.

"I'll never forget when I was at United and Sir Alex Ferguson said to me on the training field, `If anyone's going to make it as a manager, then it will be you'.

Former Man Utd striker Mark Robins
Robins goal aganist Forest allegedly saved Ferguson's neck

"It was an off-the-cuff remark but hopefully he will be proved right," said Robins who will be looking to emulate some of his former United team mates.

"I look at my old team-mates such as Mark Hughes and Steve Bruce, who've done phenomenally well as managers.

"Mark Bowen, who I played with at Norwich, has worked with both Sparky for Wales and now with Brucie at Birmingham, so I'd like to think I can achieve something similar.

MARK ROBINS LANDMARKS
Lge apps: 256
Lge goals: 100

"I've played under some great managers such as Ferguson, Martin O'Neill at Leicester and Ronnie Moore at Rotherham.

"I've learned a lot from them but I'd have to say Martin was the best manager that I have played under, from a personal point of view."



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