Ferguson hails 'strong' Mancini

Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini for his "strong management" in dealing with Carlos Tevez' apparent refusal to play in midweek.

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The Manchester United boss would not speak directly about Tevez, a former player at the club, but said Mancini had handled the incident well.

Ferguson told a news conference: "I think that Roberto Mancini has come out and shown his strength of character, his strength of management and I think that is important.

"We have all experienced our own difficulties in management and you cope with it as best as you can. In my own experience strong management is important and there is nobody more important than the manager at a football club."

Ferguson is no stranger to managing the ego of the modern day footballer. The Scot most recently earned plaudits for successfully navigating the Wayne Rooney contract saga last season. The United striker shocked the club when he declared his intentions to leave citing a 'lack of ambition at Old Trafford' but the matter was quickly dealt with and the England international help fire the Red Devils to a record breaking 19th league title.

However, perhaps Ferguson's most famous example of sticking to his management philosphy that there is no individual bigger than the club itself came with the shock departure of club captain Roy Keane back in 2005.

Keane was one of Ferguson's most successful signings ever, helping the club claim seven Premier League titles, three FA Cups, and the UEFA Champions League in 1999 under his leadership on the pitch.

However, the relationship between the pair soured in 2005 when he criticised the performances of a number of his United team-mates in an interview with MUTV.

Keane eventually left the club by mutual consent.

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