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from thesun

ALEX FERGUSON will retire when he has matched Liverpool's title record and won the Champions League again.

That is the verdict of Alan Curbishley, who takes West Ham to Old Trafford tomorrow hoping to derail Manchester United's title charge.

Old Trafford chief Fergie is two wins away from claiming a 17th crown for the Red Devils to stand one behind Liverpool's record of 18.

He is also now within one game of winning the European Cup for the second time following their dramatic 1999 victory over Bayern Munich in the final.

Fergie, 66, did announce his retirement once before — but did a dramatic U-turn in 2002 and carried on to more glory.

Curbishley, whose side did the double over United last season as they escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth, said: “I think Alex is looking at equalling or going one better than Liverpool's trophy record.

“And winning another Champs League title is something that's driving him on.

“The type of players he's bought in recent seasons are young and that's fuelling his enthusiasm to carry on.

“No disrespect, but you are never going to realise how big a job he's got up there.

“I did ask him on one occasion what's it like only to have three or four bad Sunday mornings a season. That's all he ever seems to have over a campaign.

“For the rest of us it is a bit of a misery every week. He said that's why we are top of the league!â€

Wins against the Hammers tomorrow and at Wigan next week will rubberstamp the 10th title lifted by Ferguson no matter what Chelsea achieve.

Curbishley, sitting in the mid-table comfort zone, put a dent in United's title chase when Hammers turned them over at Upton Park.

And he admits he has been surprised at how well Chelsea have hung in when United looked to have the Premier League wrapped up.

He added: “I don't know about wanting to favour either Chelsea or Man U. The resilience of Chelsea has got to be admired. I think it's fantastic they've just kept going.

“Whoever lifts it will do so on merit and if it ends up going to the last weekend, I don't think the Premier League can ask for more. Three or four weeks ago United might have felt they were in a position to wrap it up and it was more in their favour — it still is.

“United have all they can ask for as with two games left it is in their hands.But the actual competition in the Premier League this season has been the best I have known.â€
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