Premier League

Ferguson scoops manager gong

Sir Alex Ferguson achieved amazing success in his time at Manchester United.
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Sir Alex Ferguson has been named as Barclays Manager of the Year and Gareth Bale is Player of the Year.

News of the prestigious award came just hours after Ferguson gave the final pre-match news conference of his extraordinary career.

The Manchester United boss has been named Manager of the Season on a record 11 occasions, first taking the honor when the Premier League was created back in season 1992/93.

Ferguson, who has lifted 38 trophies during his 26-year reign at Old Trafford, has won the Premier League title on 13 occasions and will take charge of his 1,500th game for United on Sunday.

Bale, who has scored 19 goals in 29 Premier League appearances this season, becomes the first Tottenham player and the first Welshman to be named Player of the Year.

It is the Wales international's fourth individual award of a stellar season, adding it to the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year gongs and the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

Bale's fine form this season has fuelled speculation of a possible move away from White Hart Lane in the summer, but Andre Villas-Boas is confident of keeping hold of him.

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I'm not sure (about whether Bale is close to signing a new deal), our interest is for the player to continue here and I've made that very clear," said Villas-Boas.

"Whatever is happening, the idea is for the player to be here next season.

"I have said this numerous times. We are pretty confident we will be able to keep him."

Bale will hope to end his season on a high and help Tottenham qualify for the UEFA Champions League, although even a victory over Sunderland will not be enough if Arsenal beat Newcastle United.

Ferguson also takes charge of Manchester United for the final time on Sunday, and he admits he has been overwhelmed by the level of celebration he has seen this week since his side were presented with the Premier League trophy.

He said: "Sunday (the home game against Swansea) was amazing and the parade on Monday was unbelievable.

"I thought the scenes after the treble in 1999 couldn't be beaten but I think Monday probably did."

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