23 Jul 2008

Ferguson warns Scolari ahead of English premier league season

6:54 pm on 23 July 2008

Manchester United football manager Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Luiz Felipe Scolari he faces a battle to inspire his ageing Chelsea squad to repeat the feats they enjoyed under previous Stamford Bridge manager Jose Mourinho.

Scolari, currently in China with Chelsea as part of their pre-season preparations, succeeded Avram Grant at the English Premier League club this month after resigning his post as Portugal coach at Euro 2008.

The Brazilian arrives in England with a top-class reputation having won the 2002 World Cup with his home nation, but United manager Ferguson believes restoring Chelsea to the top of the tree will not be easy for Scolari.

He says Scolari faces a daunting challenge if he's emulate Mourinho -- the self-styled Special One -- at Chelsea.

Ferguson says Mourinho won the title two years in a row and beat United in the FA Cup Final, leaving little room for improvement.

Premier League and European champions United face Chelsea in September at Stamford Bridge in their first clash since the Champions League final in Moscow in May, which United won on a penalty-shoot-out.