Hodgson hails 'magician' Sir Alex Ferguson after 13th Premier League win

The Three Lions boss congratulated his Manchester United counterpart following Monday’s success, before revelling in the squad’s triumphant English core

England manager Roy Hodgson has hailed Sir Alex Ferguson as a “magician” after Manchester United clinched their 13th Premier League during his tenure.

United reclaimed the title from local rivals Manchester City after beating Aston Villa 3-0 on Monday thanks to a first-half hat-trick from Robin van Persie.

And after losing out to goal difference on the final day of last term, Hodgson has highlighted Ferguson’s ability to motivate his players and seal the championship with four games to spare this term.

“It’s incredible. I think the most incredible thing about it is being able to do it year after year,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“There’s no doubt that there is a certain lack of appetite that comes with winning things. It’s very, very difficult to be as hungry for your second title as you were for your first and it must be even harder to be as hungry for your 25th title, or whatever it is now if you take all of Alex’s titles together.

“We are talking about someone with incredible ability and an ability to keep himself fresh. How many Manchester United teams has he actually constructed in this period of time and this 25 years in which they have won 13 league titles and goodness knows how many cups and European cups?

“To be frank, if we’re going to talk about magicians in football then the only magicians I know are people like Sir Alex Ferguson, who year after year keeps producing incredible performances from his teams and his players and keeps being able to rebuild teams from the ashes of his previous team.”

Phil Jones, Rio Ferdinand, Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, Ashley Young, Danny Welbeck and Wayne Rooney have all played a part in the United’s success this season, and Hodgson is delighted to see so many from his talent pool thriving.

“I’m realistic in that I don’t expect coaches to put teams together for England and I wouldn’t dream of suggesting [Sir] Alex [Ferguson] should favour English players over others,” he continued.

“It’s very nice to see a lot of very good English players are coming through thanks to their incredible academy system and they are going to be very important for me. That is of course a major bonus.

“It’s a particular bonus when I go to watch matches because when I go to see United play, there’s a good chance I’ll see a number of English players, which unfortunately isn’t always the case when I go watch matches.”

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