- Published on Friday, 17 May 2013 10:39
LONDON: Alex Ferguson finally admitted he always put pressure on referees as he prepares for his final game at West Brom on Sunday, reported The Sun.
And the Manchester United manager confessed he played mind games with opposing managers during his 27 years in charge.
Now Ferguson (pic) hopes his successor David Moyes will have a watch which tells ‘Fergie time’ - just like he has for all these years.
Ferguson, 71, has had some major run-ins with officials and he revealed: “The fourth official on Sunday against Swansea showed me the board and it said eight minutes - I said, ‘Think again’.
“But that’s been a part of it too, the pressure you try and put on referees. I save mind games for opponents though.”
The Scot's admission will bring a smile to the lips of all the officials he has encountered over the years.
Two years ago he was given a five-match ban and fined £30,000 for suggesting Martin Atkinson had not been ‘strong’ enough to take charge of United’s game at Chelsea.
His influence over referees has not gone unnoticed by his opponents either, with Harry Redknapp saying a lot of officials are ‘afraid to upset him’.
Rafa Benitez has regularly had a grumble about it while Jose Mourinho remarked he hoped he would have the power to make referees ‘tremble a little bit’ like Ferguson does.
The sight of Ferguson jabbing his wrist-watch to indicate he knows how much time should be added on has become a familiar sight for referees over the years.
And his team have scored countless goals in ‘Fergie time’.
Asked if he would be giving Moyes his watch as a welcome present, Fergie told MUTV: “He’ll get one, don’t worry. We’ve got good sponsors. Will it have Fergie time? I don’t know about that.
“Biting your nails is part of it at United for our fans. Memories will always take us to those last-minute goals. My son was trying to count them - there must be about 30 that have really meant something.
“When I come back to watch, I’ll still be anxious when it gets to the last five minutes and we’re a goal down!”
Ferguson also claimed he has not had to use the famous ‘hairdryer’ as much as people think.
“That’s overplayed, honestly. I’m fed up reading about it,” he said.
As for the exit of his old adversary Roberto Mancini from Manchester City this week, he said: “This is an unusual club. Look at the behavior of some clubs sacking managers. I’m not naming names - the whole bloody lot of them. We show patience, trust, loyalty - and it’s rewarded.”