Sir Alex Ferguson has attempted to smooth things over with Newcastle supporters by telling them they are "up there with the best in the game".
Manchester United boss Ferguson caused outrage among the Toon Army when he described Newcastle as a "wee club in the North-East" during his recent spat with Magpies boss Alan Pardew.
But he told the Mail on Sunday: "It was never my intention to belittle Newcastle fans.
"I want to clear up any misunderstanding that may have arisen over what I said. I have nothing but the highest regard for Newcastle fans and I always have had.
"They are up there with the best supporters in the game.
"Their passion, commitment and fervour have never wavered, even though they have had little to celebrate.
"They have turned up in numbers to get behind their team wherever and whenever the games have been played. When I take a team to St James' Park, I have stressed to the players that not only have they got to beat the opposition on the field, just as important is coping with the atmosphere created by the fans.
"Sadly, results have not matched their loyalty. If Newcastle's achievements had matched the support of the people who pay to watch them play, the club would be among the game's giants. It's tragic that they haven't been able to win a league title for over eighty years."
Ferguson also said that he had received messages from Newcastle fans who were unhappy with they way their team is being run.
"Among the criticism there were also messages from people who feel they have been let down by the club and that it has not matched their own ambitions for success," he added.
Ferguson got into an argument with Pardew on the subject of pressuring referees after the Newcastle boss was unhappy with Ferguson's behaviour in United's recent victory over the Magpies.
The Red Devils boss said: "The problem for me and Manchester United is that the profile of the club is huge. I'm the manager of the biggest club in the world. I'm not like Newcastle, a wee club in the North-East."
what do you think?
To little to late Just because he can say a sorry it's ok to say what he did. He doesn't mean it anyway
How can you say he doesn't mean it?? Fergie isn't the type of man to say sorry in the first place, so for him to come out and say it is a big thing, yes what he said was wrong but at least he's admitting it.......
I would say the only reason he has done it is because others have condemned him. Has he actually said the word sorry
Is that why out trophy room is so full. 5 TIMES The most successful English club in Europe
Sticks and stones m8
Windows Live User
His apology to the Newcastle fans is apt, but perhaps it was never them that he was referring to in the first place! Just perhaps it was the capabilities of Newcastle to play football at a higher lever? Although the way things are going it may well be at a lower lever. Got some good advice to help us out Fergie?.......... Please.
Yer dont reward pardew with an 8 year contract when players deserve wage rises more, jealous players less fight
He is prone to firing from the lip, and then showing mock remorse later, when people say "you can`t say that" Rock of Gibraltar fiasco showed his true colours as a domineering and bullying man who sneers at all else.
Couldnt have said it better
Someone in football should point out that it is "he" (Ferguson) that is a big fish in a wee pond, having never ever tested himself elsewhere outside these shores or taken on the National job, unlike most of his modern day contempories.
No he's just re-built his squad continuously to keep them towards the very top of the modern game,sometimes very successfully sometimes not so,risen to the challenge of clubs like city,Chelsea,arsenal,Blackburn domestically and the Spanish,German,Italian clubs in Europe so obviously that isn't testing yourself is it,to keep re inventing a team to challenge for honours! Why would he want to be the Scotland manager,there is nothing there for him to prove. And his comments regarding newcastle are correct,they are a well supported club that is all,they are not a big club as far as winning trophies go!
Phillip,What gives him the right to make comments about other clubs.To me he is loosing the plot.
Ye ye ye Heard it all before
I think there are many other top managers who could have done the same with the same amount of investment. Your pointless argument is invalid philip. He isnt proven anywhere else other than in his seat now and he knows it. Internationally he's a nobody
Same could be said about paisley ,shankley. etc he overturned big two in Scotland won the prem 2 out of every 3 years since it started didn't have as much money as Chelsea, Man city. Just a good dose of jealousy, look at where your clubs were when he took over, stop talking nonsense.
Diane seems paranoid towards Alex Ferguson, She mentions 5 european cup wins and like all Liverpool fans lives in the past. no i am not a mu fan.