Sir Alex Ferguson insists Manchester United can still be just as successful without him, with the manager claiming that he is setting up a structure for long-term success beyond his retirement.

Entering into his 27th year in charge at the Old Trafford, Ferguson has revealed a number of present and former United stars are being lined up to take key coaching roles, to ensure emerging players receive the benefit of their vast experience.

"Looking at my present crop, it's difficult, but the likes of Giggs and Scholes will be part of the structure here," Ferguson said. "Darren Fletcher [could also take a coaching role] in the long-term possibly, and Nicky Butt is [involved] with the reserves.

"We try to get as many former players in the set-up as we can, we've got a good back-up."

As Ferguson closes in on his 13th league title at United, and his 38th trophy overall, he insists it has vital to sustain the winning mentality he has inculcated during his time at Old Trafford.

"We look ahead because that is succession planning in terms of structure - they've the experience of being at the club, being a player here, knowing what it takes to be a winner. It's good to have it here, keep it within the club."

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United will be fine when he reitres from the club.

Not an impossible job

Although many pundits have suggested the task of replacing Ferguson will be impossible, the veteran manager says the systems he has put in place will allow his successor to thrive.

"With the structure we have here, it can't be an impossible job [replacing me]," he told ESPN.

"What more could you want? Imagination is always important. The other most important thing is don't change who you are.

"It happens, you see it time and time again, a manager comes in and tries to change himself. Your job is not to change you, it's to change what you're taking over.

"Change the team, the philosophy of a football club to your philosophy. Never change who you are. That really will hold you in good stead, simply because the players understand what you are, who you are."