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Martin Lipton writes in The Mirror...
Fergie reveals dressing room secrets
Sir Alex Ferguson last night revealed the dressing room secrets that have kept him at the top for a quarter of a century. In an astonishing insight into Ferguson’s managerial philosophy and psychology, the Old Trafford chief spoke openly of his approach to players in the modern era. Ferguson discussed his determination to keep his team from leaking out until the last minute, the key to ensuring there is no resentment from players who are admitted, the core values he demands and that he must address the toughest issues head-on and never second-guess himself, with the killer maxim: “Never go to bed with doubt.” In the widest-ranging interview of the past decade, Fergie broke his code of silence to academics from the prestigious Harvard Business School in Boston. The Scot, who turns 71 on New Year’s Eve, even did a 40-minute stint in the classroom during a recent trip to the USA. But his explanation of his attitude, determination and commitment to making United number one all over again shone through as he laid himself up for analysis by one of the world’s leading institutions. Ferguson said: “Some managers are ‘pleasing managers’. They let the players play 8-a-sides or 10-a-sides - games they enjoy. We look at the training sessions as opportunities to learn and improve. The players may think ‘Here we go again’ but it helps to win. The message is simple: we cannot sit still at this club. There is no room for criticism on the training field. For a player - and for any human being - there is nothing better than hearing ‘well done’. Those are the two best words ever invented in sports. You don’t need to use superlatives.”
Elsewhere, The Sun claims Sir Alex also met with Pep Guardiola during his week in New York, with the former Barcelona manager still undecided over his future. The boss flew out to the Big Apple with wife Lady Cathy for a pre-Christmas break, but also arranged to meet the Spaniard in the American city where both men have apartments.