Sir Alex Ferguson ‘sad but not surprised’ after Chelsea sack Villas-Boas as manager

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was ‘saddened but not surprised’ by the sacking of Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas.

Sir Alex, who has been at Old Trafford for over 25 years, believes the decision at Stamford Bridge is typical of the modern era in football, in which short-termism and media pressure play a crucial role in deciding the future of the man in charge at a club.

The experienced campaigner also said he was keen to see Villas-Boas return to top-level management at some point in the near future, saying the Portuguese coach had the potential to succeed.

Speaking to Sky Sports before his side’s game against Tottenham on Sunday, Sir Alex said: “The news is not surprising to me really.

“There was all the build-up in the media and obviously the results haven’t been kind to him. But it is disappointing because he is a young manager.

“When you are young you need time and obviously in this industry you don’t get a lot of time unfortunately – so it is sad in a way.

“I hope he does well because he has got the potential. His work at Porto can’t be ignored and I hope he comes back into the game soon.”

Villas-Boas’ tenure at Chelsea comes to an end with his side struggling in fifth place in the Premier League and looking likely to exit the Champions League at the hands of Napoli in the last 16, having lost 3-1 in the first leg.

His assistant, Roberto Di Matteo, will take charge of the club on an interim basis until the end of the season, according to the club.

How do you stay up with football when on the move? With – your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.