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Ferguson hits back at Dalglish, Taylor over ref comments

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LONDON (Reuters) -- Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson hit back at Liverpool counterpart Kenny Dalglish and former England manager Graham Taylor on Saturday after they criticized him over his refereeing comments.

Ferguson, facing a touchline ban for his criticism of the referee following United's Premier League loss at Chelsea on March 1, said the pair had short memories.

"I was disappointed with Graham Taylor, who wrote that I had to take 'the rough with the smooth'," Ferguson wrote in the official programme for United's FA Cup quarter-final with Arsenal.

"I think back to when he was England manager and was complaining to a linesman: 'The referee has got me the sack.'

"People have short memories."

"Kenny Dalglish looked to be lecturing me in the papers about the need to respect referees, perhaps forgetting that not so long ago his players were tweeting critically all over the place about Howard Webb."

Taylor's comments were famously recorded for a documentary filmed during a 1994 World Cup qualifier between Netherlands and England.

Regarding Liverpool, Ferguson was referring to a mocked-up picture of World Cup final referee Webb in a Manchester United shirt that was posted by Ryan Babel on Twitter following Liverpool's FA Cup defeat at Old Trafford in January.

The Dutchman, who has since left Liverpool, was fined 10,000 pounds ($16,040) for his tweet.

Ferguson, who faces the FA later this month, said he was aggrieved at the improper conduct charge levelled against him.

"I now face an FA charge for what, to my mind, was simply telling the truth," he said.

"In fact, I am looking forward to the challenge because, to my mind, I have not said anything out of place, however much the media urge the FA to take action."