Former Manchester United star Lee Sharpe speaks to Gulf News at the Sheraton Deira Hotel Image Credit: Ryan Hernandez/Gulf News


Dubai: With a seemingly comfortable five-point lead at the top, Manchester United look to be heading for the Premier League title and, according to the club's former player Lee Sharpe, it is confidence that could see them through yet again.

Speaking to XPRESS during his visit to Abu Dhabi as guest commentator on AD Sports, Sharpe said: "When I was at United, in the first season we challenged for the league in 1991/92, we lost it to Leeds because we didn't really have the belief, even the manager, and we all got too nervous.

"It was only at the start of the next season when we all realised that we'd thrown it away, and that we should have won it. Then we found the belief. I think a lot of the Man City players would need to get this season out of the way before they get that confidence you need to win a championship.

"Then that group of players went on to dominate. The players have changed, but that feeling of belief has stayed at Old Trafford. The difference has been confidence."

Sharpe had a chequered career which was riddled with injuries later on, but he said he was happy with what he had achieved.

"I loved playing football. I joined United when I was 17 and won everything. I was there at the start of the Alex Ferguson era which was a privilege and I think he is going to keep going for a few years yet. I have no doubt about that."

"I picked up injuries later in my career and I would have liked to have won more caps for England, but I can't complain. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in football," he said.

Besides football punditry, the man who was a poster boy for the Red Devils, now devotes his time to charities as well.

"We raise funds for under-privileged kids in South Africa. We work with a charity over there called Ambassadors in Sport who work with local kids. We go over a few times a year for coaching clinics in Soweto and Cape Town.

"We also help out with kids in Manchester who are suffering with cancer and diabetes.

"It actually started out with an idea about Soccer Schools that were going to make some money. That didn't work out and we then got involved with Ambassadors in Sport, primarily to help them with some kit.

"But then we went to South Africa, saw the work which has been done, and decided to concentrate on that.

"This has been going for four years now and we have black tie dinners, golf days, auctions, things like that. We have even climbed Kilimanjaro to raise funds," he said.