Sir Alex Ferguson says he did not rule by fear at Manchester United, claiming he only used his infamous ‘hairdryer’ treatment six times in his 27 years in the Old Trafford dugout.
The 74-year-old oversaw an unrivalled period of domination at United where he led the club to 38 trophies, including two Champions League titles, before finally calling time on his reign in 2013.
Ferguson had a reputation for delivering verbal volleys at his players so intense it earned the nickname the ‘hairdryer’, with Wayne Rooney saying in his book that it was an experience which there was “nothing worse” than.
But Ferguson insists he rarely used his full force during his reign and only exploded when his players dared to talk 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,” Ferguson said at the World Business Forum in Milan in quotes reported by the Sun.
“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.”