Ferguson: Ready to retire? You must be joking

MANCHESTER - After 23 years in charge at Old Trafford Sir Alex Ferguson has no intention of easing away.

The Manchester United manager on Friday dismissed suggestions that he is considering retirement as "absolute rubbish."

"I've no intention of retiring," the 68-year-old told reporters in response to media reports that he was considering leaving United at the end of next season.

"I've said time and time again, the only thing that determines my staying here is my health. Unfortunately for you lot I'm in rude health.

"I have to accept there's pressure in life. I can deal with it. I can deal with it."

United, seeking a fourth consecutive Premier League title, have the chance to move two points above leaders Chelsea when they face Tottenham at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Carlo Ancelotti's team are in action against Stoke on Sunday but United have to find a way past a Tottenham side that has beaten Arsenal and Chelsea in their last two matches.

Spurs have not won at Old Trafford in the league in 21 years.

Ferguson believes Harry Redknapp has assembled the best Tottenham team since the Scot took over at United in 1986.

"I think they are the best Tottenham team of my time.

"When I came down they had that team of (Glenn) Hoddle, (Chris) Waddle and Clive Allen scored 50-odd goals.

"His team has a lot of substance to it and I think Harry has done a great job. Games between our clubs are always lively and open and entertaining. We are teams that do the same things.

"After this there are only two games left. We can let Chelsea deal with their situation and we will deal with ours. I don't know if it's an advantage this time of year to play first or second."

Wayne Rooney has trained well this week, Ferguson said, following his recent ankle problems and Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown have returned to the squad after respective back and foot injuries.

Redknapp said Spurs are favourites to finish fourth ahead of Manchester City and claim a Champions League qualifying spot.

"We would be the favourites now because we have two extra points. We need to pick up some good points still. Six points may be enough (to clinch fourth spot), it may not be. It's going to be close. It's a great end of the season," Redknapp told reporters at the Spurs training ground in Chigwell.

Redknapp has been boosted by the return of several players from injury, illness and suspension with Aaron Lennon likely to be on the bench having been sidelined since December with a groin injury and Jermaine Jenas returning to the squad following a hernia operation and then a virus.

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