United won't blow title again - Ferguson
Published 09/02/2013 | 14:21
Sir Alex Ferguson has warned his players they will feel the full effect of his "hairdryer" if they blow the title in the same manner as last season.
As Manchester United prepare to welcome Everton to Old Trafford on Sunday, Ferguson's mind has wandered back to the corresponding fixture last season. At that time, they were five points ahead of Manchester City and had established a 4-2 lead inside the final 10 minutes, but Everton came back to draw 4-4 followed by defeat at City the following week.
"If I had to pick out one single match where we lost our title it would have to be that game," Ferguson told United Review. "What I can say is that it won't happen again - or if it does, then put it this way, they will feel the full effect of the hairdryer."
United's failure condemned them to a rare barren season.
Throughout a reign that stretches back to 1986, Ferguson has only had eight of them, including his first three years at the United helm. It contrasts sharply with Arsene Wenger's experiences at Arsenal, who have won nothing since 2005 and was something Ferguson touched on during an exclusive interview with BBC's Football Focus.
When asked whether he could imagine going five years without a trophy, Ferguson replied: "It wouldn't happen. No chance. I don't believe I would."
Indeed, with his side currently nine points clear of Manchester City, facing a home FA Cup fifth-round tie against Reading on February 18 and a mouthwatering Champions League encounter with Real Madrid looming, United are still on track to repeat their historic 1999 Treble campaign.
Yet it is hardly worth thinking about until those meetings with Real - and a Cristiano Ronaldo reunion - have been negotiated successfully.
For Jose Mourinho has an impressive personal record against Ferguson and the Red Devils chief freely admits the Real coach is one of the few men he prefers not to engage in psychological battles against.
"Jose enjoys it more than I do," said Ferguson of the mind games warfare. "He is brilliant at it. He plays games too. He has that mischievous part. You are never quite sure what he is up to. I don't contest that. I let him get on with it. As long as he keeps bringing a decent bottle of wine I let him off."