Thursday 19 October 2017

'The most consistently angry I saw him' - Gary Neville reveals Alex Ferguson 'intense' Anfield hairdryer treatment

LONDON - AUGUST 10: Sir Alex Ferguson manager of Manchester United (L) and captain Gary Neville look on prior to the FA Community Shield match between Manchester United and Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium on August 10, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)
LONDON - AUGUST 10: Sir Alex Ferguson manager of Manchester United (L) and captain Gary Neville look on prior to the FA Community Shield match between Manchester United and Portsmouth at Wembley Stadium on August 10, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

Samuel Lovett

Gary Neville has lifted the lid on Sir Alex Ferguson’s “intense” hairdryer treatment at Manchester United, admitting that he was at his worse for “big games” against the likes of Liverpool and rivals City.

Whereas Ferguson was relaxed and relatively composed in the build-up to “normal games”, Neville says, the Scotsman appeared to save his hairdryer treatment for key title clashes.

According to the former defender, it was at Anfield where Ferguson would most consistently lose his temper.

"Sir Alex was always different around the big games," Neville told Sky Sports. "He could be quite relaxed, particularly towards the end, around what I would call 'normal' games, but towards the Liverpool and City games he was always more intense.

"During the week, if you walked down the corridor before a big game he'd be like 'hi son', whereas in the normal games he'd be more chatty.

"He was different going into the big games and to be honest with you, the most consistently angry that I saw him.

"People talk about the hairdryer and it never happened that much to be honest with you during a season, but the most consistent place you would see it was Anfield - at half-time or the end of the game.

"He could not stand losing at Anfield - and if we won there, it didn't matter how we played - it was like the best thing in the world."

Neville added that dressing room arguments were worse at Liverpool given the close proximity of the away changing room to the home one – though sometimes Ferguson wouldn’t speak after a defeat.

"The worst I've ever seen him consistently was at Anfield if we were losing at half-time or at the end of the game,” he said.

"He'd sit there unmoved in the dressing room at the end of the game while everyone was getting showered for 25 minutes. Just not moving.

"Once when I was a kid, just travelling, I remember him having a massive row with Schmeichel and Ince in the changing room. It was unbelievable, just proper going for each other.

"We always knew as well that [Liverpool] could hear everything that was being said, probably laughing on the other side of the wall."

Independent News Service

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