Mike Phelan, formerly assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, has confirmed he wants to get back into football as a manager, the
Phelan left Old Trafford this summer after Ferguson’s replacement, David Moyes, chose to appoint his Everton No.2 Steve Round to Phelan’s position. And Phelan now wants to take on a manager’s job himself, having missed out on the chance to step in to the manager’s spot when working under Ferguson.
Burnley were interested in appointing Phelan as manager in 2010 but he was never informed that the Clarets had shortlisted him for the post – and Phelan is not disappointed or unhappy with that, insisting he was so focused on working at United that he would not have walked away.
“I was wrapped up in what I was doing,” the 50-year-old said. “I realised it was something special. I was working in a great environment. The facilities were fantastic and the manager let the coaches get on with it. Would I have wanted to jeopardise that?
“When I got told later on that one or two clubs were interested but I was never informed it actually added value to what I had been doing. If I hadn’t been doing my job properly, I would have been on my way,” Phelan added.
Far from walking in to a top job without any managerial experience, Phelan believes he has racked up a great deal of knowledge from working at United, and also a number of different clubs prior to being hired by Ferguson. “I didn’t just walk into Manchester United and become assistant manager,” Phelan said. “I did learn my trade before that.
“I went coaching in the lower leagues at Stockport and Blackpool, then I went to Norwich. Obviously, I then moved to the best club in the country but I did start to think I could take that progression again, from assistant manager to manager.”
Phelan was originally appointed as first team coach at United, later moving upwards to become Ferguson’s right-hand man. As a player he turned out for Burnley, Norwich, United and West Brom, retiring in 1995. He also won a single England cap, in 1989, against Italy.
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