SIR ALEX ARTICLES

"If you sit back and think what he has achieved here, it is incredible. I meet him now – it’s over 20 years since I came to the club – and he has the same energy, he’s the same person and he puts the same effort in. It’s amazing. He’s the one person out of a billion."

– Peter Schmeichel on Sir Alex

08/05/2013 11:24
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The manager’s finest hour

In a previous interview with us, Reds legend Peter Schmeichel explained why the events of the Champions League final on 26 May 1999 came as a direct result of a mentality instilled in the team by Sir Alex…

"I’ve watched the final many times since that night. The feeling of the game is that we did not play well, and I never thought we performed well [either].

"But having watched the match, we actually played quite all right and created quite a lot of chances, and all that has been forgotten. Our balance was upset because we didn’t have Keane and Scholes, so we had to play Ronny Johnsen and David Beckham in midfield. They are very capable players but given the way we had played all season, it upset the balance of the game.

"We got caught on the back foot right from the beginning. I was thinking, 'We’ll be okay,' and that we’d grind something out of it because Bayern Munich were very complacent. They were 1-0 up and weren’t pushing for the second goal. So the feeling was, 'We’re going to get something here'. And then what happened in the last three minutes was just incredible."

Keep right on
"When I went up for the corner at the end, I’ve been told by different people who were watching the manager that he was trying to get me back. I don’t believe that because that’s not the way he is. That was the way we had been trained and was the mentality within the whole system in Manchester United. It still is now. You never give in and it takes a long time to grind down a team, to physically make them tired.

"And once you get to that point, then you start playing. Sometimes that is 88 minutes and you still have got to play the last two, plus whatever the referee has added, in order to win the game or get back into the game. We did have quite a few results like that throughout the season. You only have to think back to Juventus at Old Trafford – we were 1-0 down with a minute to go and Ryan scored. You also have Liverpool here in the FA Cup – we were 1-0 down and we won 2-1.

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