(CNN) -- Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has branded Manchester City's handling of Mark Hughes' recent dismissal as "unacceptable".
Hughes was sacked immediately after last Saturday's 4-3 Premier League victory over Sunderland, even though it had been common knowledge throughout the day that his time as City manager was up.
City have also come under fire this week for the way they have gone about installing Roberto Mancini as Hughes' successor
"It is so obvious that kind of behavior is not acceptable," Ferguson told reporters. "It doesn't matter whether you have lost 20 games or two, there is a way to treat people.
"For some reason Christmas seems to bring out the worst in directors. I do not know how you can do something like that."
Ferguson was one of the first to phone Hughes, who played for him at Old Trafford, having also spoken with another former player, Steve Bruce, the manager of Sunderland.
"To be sitting throughout the game knowing there was something going on was terrible," said Ferguson. "I spoke to Mark the next day and I could tell he was suffering.
"Steve Bruce felt that as well. On Saturday the rumor mill was working overtime and Mark obviously realised it was his last game. It was a terrible position to be in."
Ferguson is sure Hughes will quickly recover from his first sacking, after leaving his jobs with Wales and Blackburn of his own accord.
And, such is his track record, the United manager does not expect his former striker to be out of work for long.
"Mark will bounce back," said Ferguson. "He did a great job with Wales, which was not easy.
"At the time they did not have all these fantastic young players coming through the system that they have now.
"He did a good job for Blackburn and, as everyone thought at the time, he was the right man for Manchester City. He will be all right. I am sure of that."