Mike Phelan, former No.2 to Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, claims it was he and not the legendary Scot who was the real 'boss' at the club over their last five years together Old Trafford.
The former Red Devils defender joined the first-team staff in 2001, before replacing Carlos Queiroz as assistant manager seven years later, but lost his job after David Moyes was appointed as Ferguson's successor in the summer.
Phelan remains out of work following his departure from Manchester United and is determined to make his next post that of the manager, and claims to have gained plenty of experience in the role during his time working with Ferguson.
The 51-year-old spent three years of his tenure as Manchester United deputy undertaking media duties with the BBC due to the manager's refusal to speak the corporation, and claims he was assistant Ferguson only in name.
"With the way things have gone, my first thoughts are to be the boss, yeah. It’s the progression for me now," Phelan, who played over 100 games for Manchester United, told the Daily Mail.
"That’s what I’ve been doing for the last five years, albeit with the title of assistant boss.
"He [Ferguson] was the head of the establishment, there’s no doubt about it and rightly so. He didn’t get to where he’s got through not being a big decision maker but he’ll be the first to admit that a lot of people played their part in that.
"We all were undercover in that respect. We weren’t the face of what was going on but that was our job. There’s no problem with that from my point of view. The blinkers are off now because I’m outside of all that."