Ferguson to curb travelling
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he will have to curb some of his travelling after his recent health scare.
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The Manchester United manager was rushed to hospital after suffering a nose bleed during a function in Glasgow two months ago.
Although Ferguson was released shortly afterwards, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan expressed a belief the incident would make the Scot think carefully about extending his career beyond the coming season.
Others who know the 70-year-old well also expressed their concern.
Relaxing in the splendour of his Durban hotel during United's pre-season trip to South Africa, Ferguson looked fine and confirmed there was no problem with his heart, which must be a relief to someone who has had a pacemaker fitted.
However, after consulting with United's medical staff at the time, the Scot conceded he had been pushing himself too hard.
"I took too many flights that week," said Ferguson.
"It was a bit silly to be flying as much as I did. Belfast, Berlin, Newcastle, Manchester, Belfast, Manchester, up to Glasgow. It was seven flights in five days.
"If you do a straight 12-hour flight to South Africa and back there wouldn't have been the same problem. But I was going up and down all the time.
"It's not as if it was anything to do with my heart but when the club doctor explained what he thought it seemed reasonable.
"We are all vulnerable to age aren't we? It doesn't come without penalties.
"Maybe that was a way of telling me to slow down a bit in terms of travelling."
Ferguson laughed when it was suggested someone who is regarded as indestructible due to his phenomenal workload had shown a normal human trait.
"Not many people will agree with you there," he said.
Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see how Ferguson handles to massive demands being placed on him over the coming months as he looks to rip the Premier League title back from Manchester City.
"People may say Manchester City are the team to beat but I don't agree," said Ferguson.
"We are the team to beat because of the way we react and the way we have bounced back from losing the league in the past. We will be strong this season."
Having secured the services of Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund and Nick Powell from Crewe, doubt is now being cast on the other players Ferguson has been linked with this summer, including Leighton Baines and Robin van Persie.
Paul Scholes being around for the full season will be an obvious benefit. And whilst Ferguson does believe this is going to be the former England man's last campaign, he has not ruled out the potential of Ryan Giggs - about to skipper Team GB in their Olympic quest - going on for another year.
That would allow Giggs to join the exclusive club of Premier League stars who have gone on beyond their 40th birthday, including former team-mates Teddy Sheringham and Edwin van der Sar.
"If we can get a good season out of Paul he will be satisfied with himself," said Ferguson.
"On the other hand, Ryan can play for another year after this."
Rio Ferdinand might not go on as long as either.
However, after a turbulent summer for the central defender, Ferguson has underlined his importance to the United camp, even if he feels Ferdinand's England days are at an end.
"I don't think so," said Ferguson, when asked if he thought Ferdinand would ever feature for his country again.
"It's not on his agenda either. He wants to ensure he's fit for us.
"As a centre-back, if you stay fit and look after yourself you should be playing until you are 37."
Ferdinand has followed Giggs down the path of using yoga to increase the suppleness of his body, which allowed him to play his highest number of games since 2008 last term.
However, the 33-year-old is also an advocate of another form of modern life which Ferguson just cannot get his head round.
"I don't understand it," said Ferguson, of the Twitter phenomenon.
"I can't understand why people can bother themselves with it, to be honest.
"But as long as he doesn't talk about the team - and he's well aware of that - then it's ok."