Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has attempted to smooth things over with the Newcastle fans by telling them they are "up there with the best supporters in the game".

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."

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