Ferguson however suggested his fellow Scot made a grave error not retaining former assistant manager Mike Phelan in his backroom staff. “It is an insult to say that I left an ageing squad,” said Ferguson at an event to publicise his updated autobiography. “Chelsea have seven players over 30 but nobody talks about them being an old team. “It is easy to defend myself against all of that because all the statistics are there. “I think he should have kept Mike Phelan, he was a United man; loyal, hard-working and a good judge of the players. “My advice to David was that he should maybe keep Mike Phelan. “I was always supportive of David, whenever he called I gave him the advice I would have wanted when I was manager. “But David will do well in the future: life doesn’t end when you leave United.” The former United manager hit back at critics of the make-up of the Old Trafford squad Moyes inherited when he succeeded Ferguson in 2013. Former Everton boss Moyes was removed from the United post after just one season at the helm, prompting widespread suggestion Ferguson had not provided enough future planning. Ferguson reiterated his backing for new United manger Louis van Gaal, tipping the Dutchman to turn the club’s fortunes around. Lamenting United’s injury woes during Van Gaal’s embryonic tenure, Ferguson said once he settles on a regular back-four the club will progress quickly. “He has that philosophy, stubbornness and determination to succeed, I’ve got every faith he will be a success,” said Ferguson, in an interview with James Nesbitt at London’s Drury Lane Theatre. “I have absolute faith that he’s the right man for the job. “It’s been one step forward and two steps backward for them so far this season, in terms of injuries. “Falcao looks a player and Di Maria will do well. “Once he can get people fit and a settled, regular back-four, then that’s the first route to progress.” Press Association Sir Alex Ferguson has branded claims he left David Moyes an “ageing” Manchester United squad as “an insult”.
MATTHEW KUTZ/Herald photoUpon meeting Badger freshman forward/center Caitlin Gibson, one comes away with the impression that she is one of the kindest, most compassionate people on the University of Wisconsin campus.That is, until she sets foot on the basketball court, where she becomes something else — a brutalizing force on the low block.Wisconsin head coach Lisa Stone recruited Gibson from Jefferson, Wis., to add a stronger presence inside to complement the young Badger guards.While Gibson’s opportunities have been slim during her freshman year, she recently got a chance to strut her stuff with her first career start versus Notre Dame this past Sunday.The expectations were fairly low for Gibson starting against the then-No. 11 Fighting Irish team and matching up with one of the best centers in the nation in Melissa D’Amico. However, Gibson definitely turned some heads with her 12 points on 6-of-10 shooting, five rebounds and a great defensive performance.”What Caitlin Gibson did (versus Notre Dame), she became a crowd favorite,” Stone said. “I mean, we’re smiling on the bench and what a great chance for her to go in against one of the top post players in the country and to make some moves, to be a presence for us. (She) gave us scoring and defense inside.”Even though her nerves were running high, Gibson looks at the Notre Dame game as a confidence-builder as she continues to try to settle into Stone’s rotation during her first year on campus.”It’s a start,” Gibson said of her performance Sunday. “There’s still a lot I need to learn, but it was a really good stepping stone for me.”Stone had similar feelings on her pupil’s first start.”I went home and watched the tape last night, and Caitlin moves really well, up and down the court,” Stone said. “That’s 94 feet and a long way to run, but she gets up and down the floor very well. She led a break, finished in transition, scored inside.””I thought she defended D’Amico very, very well last night and just I think was a big confidence-builder for Caitlin. [O]bviously expectations now rise and you want to see that every day, but it’s a good starting point for her.”The jump to college has been anything but easy for Gibson.At Jefferson high school, Gibson became accustomed to dominating the WIAA Division II ranks, as she was usually the tallest girl on the floor at 6-foot-4.While she typically had her way on the court in high school, Gibson developed the go-to post move that she still uses today: a sort of running baby hook shot.”I’ve always worked on a little reverse pivot hook shot,” Gibson said. “It just happens. I don’t even think about it anymore because it’s kind of natural for me.”Aside from her post moves, Gibson also worked on her stamina and agility by playing volleyball in the fall.”I think volleyball really plays into basketball and it gets you in good shape for the season,” Gibson said. “It helped me with quickness by moving all over the court in volleyball as well as just mental toughness.”She wasn’t bad, either.As a senior in high school, Gibson earned honorable mention all-state volleyball honors as a senior and had the opportunity to continue her volleyball career at Marquette as a middle blocker/left outside hitter.But she realized basketball was her true love and yearned to fulfill her dream of playing at Wisconsin — despite offers from UW-Green Bay and DePaul, among others.”It was just a gut feeling, I always wanted to come here,” Gibson said.Now that Gibson is at UW, her dream fulfilled, she continues to work on improving her game for her time in Madison.”I have to work hard in every aspect of my game, whether it’s rebounding, defense inside and outside, offense — just everything,” Gibson said. “I need to work my butt off.”