SIR Alex Ferguson intends to carry on as Manchester United manager as long as he feels up to the job.
The Scot will celebrate an incredible 21 years at the Old Trafford helm in October, during which time he has become the most decorated British manager of all time.
With nine Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two League Cups and two major European trophies, including the 1999 Champions League, on his CV, Ferguson knows he could quit immediately and still be regarded as one of the finest managers football has ever known.
However, after performing one famous retirement U-turn, the 65-year-old does not intend to do another.
And, looking ahead to the new campaign, Ferguson emphasised his health is the most important factor in how long he will carry on.
"I will never set a date to retire," he said.
"I tried that some years ago and made a mistake.
"There are several things to consider but when you get to my age, you have to consider your health.
"Obviously, it is something you cannot control but I do feel good.
"At the moment I am enjoying working with some fantastic footballers, so I have no need to retire."Ferguson would appear to have plenty to look forward to this season given the summer acquisitions of Owen Hargreaves, Nani and Anderson.
Carlos Tevez's eventual arrival would offer even more attacking options, ensuring the current Red Devils continue to fulfil the legacy left by Sir Matt Busby.
"It is important for us to have an entertaining, winning team," he said.
"I am very pleased with the signings we have made in the summer because they have added to the quality in our team, whilst also taking a long-term view.
"We are very excited about the new season. We feel we have a progressive, maturing team that will only get better."
After showing signs of progress in his recovery from an ankle injury sustained on European Under-21 Championship duty with Portugal, Nani could make his first United appearance against FC Seoul tomorrow.
Hargreaves will miss out with a minor knee problem, although Ferguson is confident the England international will be fit to face Shenzhen in Macau next Tuesday.
With Dario Gradi vacating the manager's job at Crewe, Ferguson is now the longest-serving boss in the English game.
The secret of his success, he claims, is keeping things simple, having a long-term focus, and getting a bit of luck when it is needed.
"One advantage I have had as a manager is that I have played the game," he outlined.
"When I started as a young manager at the age of 32, that was the most important credential.
"I also prepared to be a manager. I did all my coaching badges and never missed one summer course in 10 years.
"I was committed to the job and once I went into it I maintained the same things I have today.
"I still have the same work ethic and I don't over-complicate the job.
"But there is some luck attached to it too. You have to be lucky to survive in football today."
LONG LIVE SIR ALEX