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Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson
"It's that same great feeling again"
 real 56k

Saturday, 14 April, 2001, 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK
Ferguson celebrates title triumph
Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson is looking ahead to Champions League clash
Sir Alex Ferguson became the most successful manager in English football history after Manchester United's title triumph - then set his sights on European glory.

United's 4-2 win over Coventry at Old Trafford was followed by Arsenal's shock 3-0 defeat against Middlesbrough at Highbury to seal their seventh championship in nine years.

Ferguson is the only man to win three successive English titles with the same club - and has now won 14 major trophies at United, beating former Liverpool manager Bob Paisley's total of 13.

The Scot, who also won the Scottish title and the European Cup Winners' Cup at Aberdeen, said: "I am very pleased. It is always great to win the hardest league in the world.

"This has been a fantastic achievement and I am proud of my players.

Roy Keane
Keane eyes up Bayern
"I hope we take this into Europe because it would be great to get a result for the country and have three English teams in the Champions League semi-final."

He told the club's official website "The achievement of winning three in a row is fantastic. The players have shown phenomenal consistency over the season and we showed that we always try to win our games.

"This is a great tribute to them and when you win the championship, it is a fantastic feeling because it is the true test of the best team in the country and we have proved that over the years.

"The attitude of the players throughout the season has been brilliant, absolutely phenomenal."

United must attempt to reverse a 1-0 deficit when they travel to Bayern Munich for the Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday.

Ferguson insisted United will face tougher competition next season after securing another early championship victory.

He added: "It will be fantastic next season because there are emerging teams in this league. Liverpool, Leeds and Arsenal will be a major threat - it will be fantastic.

"I did not think Arsenal would lose at home. It was a surprise when we heard the half-time score at Highbury was 2-0 to Boro. I am just celebrating now."

Asked if he was aware of the number of trophies he has won, Ferguson replied: "No, but I have sons who tell me.

I am very pleased and it is always great to win the hardest league in the world
  Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson
"This has been a fantastic achievement and I am proud of my players. I hope we take this into Europe next week."

United winger Ryan Giggs added: "Our main aim this season has always been to win the league.

"The thing that has probably been our main motivation this season is to win three leagues in a row - that would be something extra special.

"It's something that we've never quite managed before. I know Liverpool have done it, and obviously they're a great team, but no other teams have so it's a great achievement for us."

He added on "Your first title as a player has to be pretty special. But it still feels brilliant to win it now.

"I think people sometimes forget how hard it is to win the league, so you don't lose the fantastic feeling when you achieve it again."

Ryan Giggs
Elated Ryan Giggs
And he said: "Alex Ferguson's drive is still as huge as it ever has been. His desire to keep on winning trophies is still there, that's never got any weaker.

"You can see it at times like when we only draw a game, he'll be upset that we haven't won the match.

"Liverpool and Arsenal are our main rivals and the only main difference between us winning the league and those two teams missing out is that we haven't dropped so many points away from home.

"Our home record is really good but we also haven't dropped lots of points away from Old Trafford.

"Also I believe it's easier to win the title when we've done it so recently because we know what to do together as a team.

"Both Liverpool and Arsenal have been involved in the latter stages of European competition, like ourselves, and sometimes they've had to play a Premiership game two or three days later. That can be really hard to do, but I think we've got the balance right.

"The manager has brought in fresh faces, and kept our squad rotating well.

"Hopefully all the players at Manchester United will want to stay together after this season.

"Everyone wants to play in the Champions League, so where else do you go after Man U?"

United chief Ferguson also praised Coventry for their part in an entertaining six-goal thriller.

He admitted Gordon Strachan's men had been as adventurous as any visitors to Old Trafford this season.

"They had a go at us because they knew that was the best way to play, and it's a great credit to them," said Ferguson.

"I expected them to have a go and they proved a real threat to us."

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