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Scholes tells Fergie to stay

MANCHESTER, November 20- Paul Scholes has urged Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson to shelve any thoughts of retirement and continue in the job for as long as he can.PAUL_SCHOLES_Ferguson, who turns 68 on December 31, recently celebrated his 23rd anniversary at the helm at Old Trafford and is widely expected to step down at the end of this season or next, having said previously he will not continue into his 70s.

But midfielder Scholes, who has served under Ferguson for more than 15 years, believes the manager can add to his vast array of honours at United, which includes 11 Premier League titles, two European Cups and five FA Cups.

"His record speaks for itself," said the former England international ahead of Everton’s visit to Old Trafford on Saturday.

"Twenty-three years is a long time and, hopefully, he can continue to be here and win trophies for a long time to come.

"Other teams don’t have the benefit of having a manager for so long.

"I think it goes to show what can be achieved if you have a manger for so long and the trophies they can win. I’ve known no different.

"When I played for England there was a change of manager from time to time and it probably didn’t seem to help most of the time.

"I’ve been lucky enough to play under one manager and it has been great."

Ferguson will be in the dugout at Old Trafford after it was confirmed that the two-match touchline ban he received for questioning the fitness of referee Alan Wiley will not start until next week.

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Following the international break, United, who hope to welcome back Nemanja Vidic to the defence, resume their Premier League campaign five points behind leaders Chelsea following a 1-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge in their last outing.

But Everton have not won a league match at Old Trafford for 17 years and make the short journey with a string of injury problems.

Long-term casualties Leon Osman, Phil Neville, the former United player, Victor Anichebe, Phil Jagielka and Mikel Arteta are nearing a return to action but the match is expected to come too soon for any of them to feature.

Nevertheless, Everton defender Tony Hibbert is looking forward to testing himself against former team-mate and friend Wayne Rooney.

Full-back Hibbert, who has already made 17 appearances for Everton this season, relishes his tussles with Rooney, who he remains friendly with despite the striker’s acrimonious departure from Goodison Park in 2004.

"There’s always banter with Wayne and I talk to him a lot throughout the games," said Hibbert.

"He always gives a lot back. It’s a good laugh. We haven’t had the best of runs there, or at our place, and hopefully one day we can change it around.

"You go to Old Trafford expecting what you always get. It’s hostile, the fans are all going to be up for their players. But you just have to get your head down and play."

David Moyes’s record at Goodison Park has resulted in him being tipped as a possible candidate to succeed his fellow Scot Ferguson at United, but the Everton boss has found the going tough this season.

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With injuries having taken their toll on performances and results, his side currently lie 12th in the Premier League, with only 15 points from 11 games in which the normally watertight Everton defence has leaked 17 goals.

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