As Man United finally drag themselves to their feet after being knocked for six by the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, one of his most controversial legacies has had its secret revealed.
‘Fergie Time’ was the well known phrase used when it was believed extra added time was given to Fergie’s United side when they were losing – and more often than not it gave United the perfect chance to get themselves back in the game right at the death.
But Sir Alex has revealed it was all just one big trick. It was his way of tricking to get in to the minds of the opposition and the officials.
He told BT Sport: “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.”
And the reason he did it? It wasn’t just to give his side a chance to get a late goal, it was also to give his players a confidence a boost and the fans something to cheer about.
“The thing about the last 10/15minutes of a game, particularly at Old Trafford, you’ve got 65k people there. At half time I always stress don’t panic, be patient, wait.
“In the last 15minutes 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.”
And it worked time and time again. Louis Van Gaal may want to take note…