I spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson because I was in a bad place


Sir Alex Ferguson offering pearls of wisdom to fellow managers is nothing new.
The legendary Manchester United manager was known throughout his career for being a sounding board to less experienced gaffers.
But football fans will be thrilled to know he’s still at it today, more than 10 years after his own retirement.
In an exclusive chat with FourFourTwo, current Wigan Athletic manager Shaun Maloney revealed how he reached out to his compatriot following his sacking by Hibernian in 2022, after less than a year in the job.
“Things started well at Hibs, but we lost some of our best attacking players in the January,” Maloney tells FFT.
“My relationship with people behind the scenes became strained and I left after four months in the job.
I was in a bad place after that and spoke to Sir Alex Ferguson.
But he was right – it had been a huge learning curve – and those words helped me.”
Maloney became Wigan manager in January 2023.
One of the standout games this season was their 2-0 defeat to Manchester United in the FA Cup Third round.

It is not new for Sir Alex Ferguson to impart pearls of wisdom to other managers. For the entirety of his career, the renowned Manchester United manager was renowned for providing guidance and advice to less seasoned coaches.

Even though he retired from football more than ten years ago, football fans will be happy to hear that he is still playing. Current Wigan Athletic manager Shaun Maloney discussed how he got in touch with his countryman after being fired by Hibernian in 2022, less than a year into his position, in an exclusive interview with FourFourTwo.

Maloney tells FFT, “Things at Hibs started well, but we lost some of our best attacking players in the January.”. “After four months on the job, I quit due to strained relationships with people behind the scenes. After that, I talked to Sir Alex Ferguson because I was in a terrible place. At the time, I was unable to understand his statement that it might turn out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me. Yet those remarks were helpful to me because he was correct—there had been a significant learning curve. “.

Maloney took over as manager of Wigan in January 2023. Even after being demoted in his first six months as manager, the former midfielder, who won the FA Cup with the Latics in 2013, has since been able to turn around his managerial career.

Wigan was in the midst of a relegation battle and had recently received point deductions for financial mismanagement when Maloney arrived, making it an extremely difficult job for a young manager.

Image sourced from Getty Images.

Maloney remembers, “[Previous manager] Kolo Toure had only been in the job for a few weeks, and the aim was simple when I arrived: to stop leaking so many goals and win some games.”. “We made progress toward our goal of staying in the Championship, but ultimately it wasn’t enough. It was impossible to survive by March because of off-field issues.

It’s been quite challenging at times. The most difficult period was when workers weren’t getting paid. Striking a balance between getting the team back on the football track and increasing sustainability has been a priority for the new owners. Everyone wants to watch a healthy Wigan team. “.

Despite having a youthful team, Wigan has turned the corner this season, putting their finances in order and finishing comfortably in the middle of League One. Their 2-0 loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup Third Round was one of the season’s most memorable matches. Critics believed that despite facing elite competition, the Latics had performed admirably.

Maloney recalls, “We knew they’d hoard the ball, but I was proud of our display.”. “I didn’t have much opportunity to speak with Erik ten Hag, but I did ask if I could visit him later in the season to observe his methods. We will definitely set that up because he was amenable to it. I am very excited to have the opportunity to learn from more seasoned managers. “.

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