Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has lambasted the recent treatment of Blackburn Rovers counterpart Steve Kean, by claiming the public show of animosity towards the Ewood Park chief is a damning indictment of society.

Manchester United could exasperate Blackburn's problems when they host Kean's side at Old Trafford on New Year's Eve, but Ferguson believes the way the 44-year-old has handled himself illustrates the Scot's dignity.

Blackburn face Liverpool and Manchester United in their next two Premier League fixtures and although Kean's critics are both numerous and very vociferous, Sir Alex Ferguson is patently not one of them.

The Manchester United manager revealed he tried to call his fellow Glaswegian in the aftermath of Rovers' defeat to Bolton and the Old Trafford supremo believes Kean deserves "a break" from the torment from his own fans.

"I have not seen anything as bad as that,'' The Manchester United manager told ESPN. "I feel for the lad. He seems to be in complete control of himself at press conferences and has not let events get to him.

"It is remarkable that under that kind of pressure he can retain his dignity the way he has done. I tried to phone him the other day but he is probably right to keep it off.''

The Manchester United manager believes the animosity of the protests and their intensity is a poor reflection on society as a whole.

"It is terrible to watch that,'' The Manchester United hero continued. "It doesn't say a lot for our society nowadays when you see that kind of behaviour from fans. We are all emotional. We all like to see our team win. But for goodness sake, give the lad a break."