"You do such things [sell Phil Neville, Nicky Butt] with a heavy heart because they were fantastic personalities, fantastic human beings and they were great characters about the club, so it was not easy.
"But Nicky and Phil weren't getting a regular game and it wasn't easy for me having brought them up as kids. With their love of the club, they would feel it more when you weren't playing them than players you had brought in from other clubs. They were brought up at the club, they love the club so it became a difficult situation for both of us."
"They [Gary Neville, Scholes, Giggs] are completely different cases to Phil and Nicky because they are regular players and there has never been a moment when I have had to consider not playing them, other than to give them rests.
"I believe they create the spirit of the club because of their longevity and their loyalty. There are a lot of players who come here for the first time and see the names of Giggs, Scholes and Neville in the team but don't realise that they have been here since they were kids. All of them were 13 when they arrived and it is amazing, absolutely fantastic that they are still here in their thirties.
"I think it is important for a club like United to have a Mancunian heartbeat. It is certainly important for the fans.
"A lot of players who come to this club see Giggs, Scholes and Neville and think that could be them.
"Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo, for example, see Ryan, Gary and Paul. They see how contented they are and it must give them confidence to know they are at the right club.
"We do work hard to make sure players are happy with their contracts, and from what other managers have told me, we have much fewer players who are unhappy that everyone else seems to have. If you look at all the photographs on the wall of our academy building, you see Giggs, Scholes, Neville and all the others who have come through.
"Other managers don't get enough time to build a football club because the pressure to win matches and get success straight away is huge from the boardroom and supporters."