English Premiership

I only used the 'hairdryer' treatment six times - Fergie

2016-11-10 08:41
Alex Ferguson.(AFP)

Sir Alex Ferguson burst through a small crowd to congratulate his former players, Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo on their European Championship triumph.

Manchester - Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed the truth about his infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatment, saying he only used the technique about six times during his 27 years at Old Trafford.

The 74-year old former Manchester United boss lead the Red Devils to 38 trophies during that time, with his reputation for delivering verbal volleys at under-performing players becoming legendary.

Wayne Rooney once claimed to have been on the end of one of the intense confrontations, saying there was nothing worse than incurring the wrath of Fergie.

But Ferguson has said that he rarely used his controversial technique during his more than two-and-a-half decade rule at Old Trafford, employing it around six times, and then only when a player had the temerity to answer him back.

"There was a lot of myth about it. It happened about half a dozen times in 27 years and the players will tell you that," the Sun reported, quoting Ferguson from the World Business Forum in Milan.

"The problem for me was if a player answered me back, I headed towards them. That was my problem.

"Jock Stein always said to me, 'Leave it until Monday to talk to them,' but I said I couldn't wait until Monday. So, on a Saturday after the game, I told them exactly how I felt, because we had trained at a level all week that I expected to win every game.

"I told them exactly the truth and the truth works. All the players understood that and it was never held against me. Then the next day it is pushed aside and I'm prepared to win again. I never ruled by fear.

"Name a Manchester United team that played with fear. My job was to get a positive attitude into that team, for them to express themselves, never give in and enjoy playing for the club. That is sacrosanct."

As well as insisting that he did not rule by fear, Ferguson added that there was one ‘disease’ he always tried to prevent from entering the dressing room - complacency.

"The important part of being a successful team is to avoid complacency. It is a disease that has to be guarded against," said Ferguson.

"If we were winning at half-time, that was brought up — avoid it, it is a disease. If you lose a goal, you lose the game — keep your foot on the pedal.

"With complacency, you do not see it happening, you do not see where it is coming from. But, when it hits you, you ­cannot get out of it, you can’t eradicate it," he said.

"So that was an important part of how we constructed a winning mentality at Manchester United, to avoid complacency."

Gordon Strachan, the current Scotland coach who played under Ferguson at Aberdeen then Manchester United lifted the lid on what it really is like to receive the 'hairdryer' treatment.

"I've had it a few times but wouldn't have missed it for the world. He's some man, a lunatic but one of the best managers you'll ever meet," Strachan said.


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