bottom four of the Division One table, Ferguson immediately set about attempting to stave off the very real threat of relegation. Without resorting to the transfer market, he guided United up the table to an 11th place finish.
By now it was clear to Ferguson that he faced a major job in turning the club around. United were an entertaining side but one that seemed unable to cope with the more physical aspects of League football. In his second season the Reds fared better finishing second behind Liverpool, but the position painted a false picture. The turning point came in the 1989/90 season.
Following a run of games in which the Reds were drawn away
in every round, United picked up their first silverware of the Ferguson era. Lee Martin scoring the only goal in a final replay against Crystal Palace to win the FA Cup.
This first trophy opened the floodgates. The European Cup Winners’ Cup was won the following season in Rotterdam, Barcelona defeated 2-1 thanks to a brace from Mark Hughes. Then, in 1991/92, the League Cup was added to United’s list of honours.
Sadly the title remained elusive. It was the Holy Grail to United fans, the 26 championships-free years being exacerbated by Liverpool’s dominance of the domestic and European game.
In 1992/93 the long wait for the League