Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton has ripped into Sir Alex Ferguson, accusing the former Manchester United manager of being incapable of coaching, reports the London Metro.
The controversial Championship star was speaking at the 'Leaders in Football' conference on Thursday, and packed no punches when describing the training ground credentials of the Red Devils legend.
Barton praised Ferguson as one of the best managers ever, but added that from a coaching perspective his methods left a lot to be desired.
"We rate managers but we don't rate coaches in this country," said the 31-year-old. "I don't mean to disrespect Sir Alex Ferguson – he was a great manager but he couldn't put on a coaching session to save his life.
"He couldn't even put out the cones. There is a big difference between a coach and a manager."
Barton's comments have predictably caused a considerable stir, following stinging criticism of the Old Trafford great.
Before his retirement at the end of 2012/13, Ferguson had guided Manchester United to a record 13 top-flight titles during his 26-year tenure, bowing out after claiming another Premier League crown.
Since the initial comments, Barton has taken to Twitter to defend himself, adding that his statement was intended to point out that as a nation, England needs to produce more quality football coaches.
"Anyone who thinks Fergie was a great coach is mistaken. He was a great manager. One of, if not the best these shores have ever seen," he tweeted.
"These who have a brain, know there is a massive difference between the two. #coaching #managing"