The 72-year-old says that his tactic of standing on the touchline and gesturing towards his watch was a ploy in order to influence the referee and his side’s opponents
Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted that ‘Fergie Time’ was a “little trick” he used when Manchester United were searching for a goal in the closing stages of a game.
Ferguson, who won 38 trophies during his 26-year reign at Old Trafford, says that his tactic of standing on the touchline looking at his watch was a ploy in order to get into the minds of the officials and his side’s opponents.
Speaking to Clare Balding for a BT Sport Christmas Day Special, ‘Clare Balding Meets’, Ferguson explained: “That’s why I used to go to my watch. I never looked at my watch, I didn’t know how many minutes.
“It gets across to the opponents and the referee, which is a little trick. The thing about the last 10-15 minutes of a game, particularly at Old Trafford, you’ve got 65,000 people there.
“At half-time I always stress: don’t panic, be patient, wait. In the last 15 minutes you can do what you like. I’m a gambler, shove bodies up front, take the gamble … it didn’t always work but a lot of times it did.
“If you’re in that dressing room after the game and we’ve scored in the last minute, the electricity is unbelievable, they’re jumping on top of each other, hand-clapping, it’s a fantastic place to be.
“Most important thing is that those fans are walking out of the stadium desperate to get down to the pub to talk about, desperate to get home to tell their wife and their kids what happened at Old Trafford in the last minute of the game. And that’s my job, to get them home happy.”
Sir Alex Ferguson was speaking to Clare Balding as part of a BT Sport Christmas Day double-bill of ‘Clare Balding Meets’ which features exclusive interviews with Sir Alex and Jose Mourinho.
Watch the full interviews on BT Sport 1 from 3.30pm on December 25