LONDON, England, July 7- David Moyes accepts it will be impossible to emulate the extraordinary feats of Sir Alex Ferguson as Manchester United manager.
Ferguson finally walked away this summer after 26 amazing years in which he won a staggering 13 Premier League titles.
Moyes must now carry on that success, but he realises matching what Ferguson did during his time at Old Trafford will simply not happen.
“It is impossible,” he said.
“To manage at this level for 26 years and have his success; I don’t think there will be any other manager who will do that amount of time at a club like Manchester United.”
Yet that does not mean Moyes is intimidated by Ferguson’s presence.
“I hope he is sitting in the directors’ box,” said Moyes.
“He has been so good and I’ve already called him two or three times for advice on matters.
“He’s not there to pressure me. He is the person who told the board I should be the next Manchester United manager.”
Yet, as with most individuals, there are some occasions when even Moyes defers to the 71-year-old and, crucially, one of them was being told he had got a job the Scot was not even aware existed when he got summoned to Ferguson’s plush Cheshire home.
“I knew nothing at all about it until Sir Alex gave me a call and asked me to come to his house,” said Moyes.
“I was expecting him to say ‘I’m gonna take one of your players,’ but the first thing he said to me was, ‘I’m retiring’.
“And I said, ‘yeah, when?’ because he was never retiring, was he?
“And he says, ‘next week,’ and his next words were ‘and you’re the next Manchester United manager’.
“So I didn’t get a chance to say yes or no, I was told I was the next Manchester United manager by Sir Alex, so for me that was enough.
“As you can imagine the blood drained from my face – I was really shocked.
“Within half an hour he was talking about the squad and the players and the staff.
“But I was sworn to secrecy because Sir Alex wanted to keep his retirement private until the right moment.”
Though his reputation is of being an organised coach who does not pay much attention to the frilly side of the game, Moyes accepts the traditions he is being asked to uphold.
“I am at a club where the word success is tattooed right across the badge,” said Moyes.
“I want us to play the same way, with the same traditions of entertaining, exciting football.
“But I’ve always said the biggest thing in football is to win.
“I would always put winning at the top of the list and Sir Alex would as well.”