Van Nistelrooy proud after coaching in front of former boss Ferguson

By Sports Desk August 17, 2022

Ruud van Nistelrooy was "proud" to be able to coach in front of his former Manchester United boss, Alex Ferguson, during PSV's Champions League play-off first leg against Rangers.

Ferguson was in attendance at Ibrox as the teams played out a 2-2 draw on Tuesday.

Antonio Colak equalised after Ibrahim Sangare's opener in the first half before Tom Lawrence gave the Scottish side the lead, though Van Nistelrooy's team had something to take back for the second leg next week after Armando Obispo headed in a leveller 12 minutes from time.

The former Netherlands striker was appointed as PSV head coach from the start of the season to replace Roger Schmidt, his first senior role in management.

Van Nistelrooy played 219 games for United in all competitions under Ferguson between 2001 and 2006, scoring 150 goals, and said at his post-match press conference it was a "proud moment" for him to be in the dugout knowing his former manager was watching on.

"Oh, my goodness no, one per cent, maybe, one per cent," he said when asked if he would like to be half as good a manager as Ferguson. 

"It was a proud moment for me that he actually watched me coach my team and manage my team and I'm glad as well. I spoke to him just briefly. He's well, he's looking great. He's doing well, his family as well. So it's great to see him.

"That he sees me down the touchline at Ibrox for me is a proud moment."

The 46-year-old also explained how much he had learned from Ferguson, who won 13 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, four EFL Cups and two Champions Leagues during his long tenure at Old Trafford before retiring in 2013.

"The thing is, as a player, you learn an unbelievable amount of things from him," he said. "And when you start to develop yourself as a coach then obviously you look back at moments.

"'Where were the managers I had? What did they do, and how did they form a team?' And the style of play and managing an individual, and he's such an example in that sense."

Van Nistelrooy, whose 44 goals in all competitions in the 2002-03 season still stands as a record for a Premier League player in a single campaign, was happy enough with his team's effort in the first leg in Glasgow, and is glad to have home advantage with the scores level ahead of next week's reverse fixture.

"We know what it is like with a great support behind us," he added. "That was today as well for Rangers. During some spells in the game the crowd lifted the team in such a way that is hard. I mean, you really notice it. There are not many places where you feel it like this.

"Of course, next week we will have that support. But both teams are very level in quality and with playing styles. It is reduced to one game now with the final at home. We have to prepare and be at our best."

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