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Ferguson says he's staying at United 3 more years

Updated: December 31, 2011, 08:16


Manchester United's manager Sir Alex Ferguson, centre, walks from the pitch after his team's 5-0 win over Wigan in their English Premier League soccer match at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, England, Monday Dec. 26, 2011. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

MANCHESTER, England(AP) Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson celebrated his 70th birthday on Saturday by pledging to stay in his job for at least another three years.

Ferguson told United's in-house TV channel on Saturday that he has no immediate plans to walk away from the game, and that he still hungers for more trophies even after 25 years in charge of the club.

"I think I've got three years with the club,'' Ferguson said. "As long as my health stays up, as long as I'm still enjoying it, still giving the satisfaction of the team doing its best.''

Ferguson has been reluctant to discuss retirement plans since announcing a decade ago that he would quit after the 2001-02 season. He went back on that promise midseason, and has since led the club to another four league titles - with last season's triumph giving United a record 19 overall. He has won a total of 27 major trophies with United, including two Champions League titles and five FA Cups.

"You don't win every time. I've had plenty of defeats. But, in the context of the achievements, it's minuscule, the defeats,'' Ferguson said. "We're all very good at losing here. People say we're great winners, but we're also great losers. You know why? Because we don't let it happen too many times.''

Ferguson was greeted by a standing ovation at Old Trafford before United's game against Blackburn on Saturday and serenaded with the song "Happy Birthday.'' The Scotsman celebrated his 25th anniversary as manager of United in November and the club marked the occasion by naming a stand at Old Trafford after him.

He's had a few setbacks this season, however, as United was knocked out of the Champions League in the group stage and is facing a stiff challenge from crosstown rival Manchester City for the league title. With United in a bit of a rebuilding phase, Ferguson said there is still a lot of work to be done.

"The new players coming into the club - (Phil) Jones, (Chris) Smalling, Ashley Young - they didn't win any league medals yet,'' he said. "We have to continue the dominance of winning leagues and also, without question, winning the European Cup is important to the club. We should have been in at least three other (Champions League) finals. So yes, I'd be very keen to win a third one.''

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