Paul Ince recalls time he received 'hairdryer treatment' from Sir Alex Ferguson | inside World Soccer


Paul Ince recalls time he received 'hairdryer treatment' from Sir Alex Ferguson

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Former Manchester United captain Paul Ince has revealed how tensions hit boiling point with Sir Alex Ferguson following a match with Norwich City.

Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson shares a joke with Blackburn Rovers Manager Paul Ince (R) prior to the start of the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park on October 4, 2008 in Blackburn, England
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson shares a joke with Blackburn Rovers manager Paul Ince prior to the start of the Barclays Premier League match between Blackburn Rovers and Manchester United at Ewood Park on October 4, 2008 in Blackburn, England.
Photo: Laurence Griffiths/GETTY IMAGES


The legendary Scotsman was famous for keeping players in line at Old Trafford with his "hairdryer treatment".

The phrase was coined by former United forward Mark Hughes to describe the times Ferguson verbally tore into his players at close quarters.

And Ince, who played for United between 1989 and 1995, told talkSPORT about one of his less than pleasant encounters in the early 90s.

We played Norwich away at Carrow Road and this was a time when they were going for the title at the same time as us.

I think we were winning 3-0 or 3-1 and we got to the 92nd minute and I've got the ball in the middle of the park, I looked up and didn't see anything, so I went on a mazy run, beat one, a little step over and beat two but then lost the next one. They went back down the pitch and nearly scored.

The whistle goes at the end of the game and we are patting people on the back and giving high fives and saying "what a great result, lads."

Ferguson comes in [to the changing room] and goes absolutely ballistic at me saying "who do you think you are? You ain't no Maradona or Pele."

I said: "Gaffer, what are you on about?"

He said: "You've lost the ball in the 92nd minute and they could have scored."

I said: "But they didn't gaffer and we won 3-1."

He starts coming up to me in my face and I'm thinking I'm not having this.

So I stand up, we are face to face, and he is shouting and as he is shouting I've got spit going in my eye.

I'm trying to talk back to him but every time I open my mouth the spit goes in so I thought I would keep my mouth shut.

[Assistant manager] Brian Kidd stepped in between the two of us and we didn't speak for five days.

Ferguson has managed some of the biggest names - and egos - in football history but always maintained that no player was bigger than the club.

The likes of Ruud van Nistelrooy, David Beckham and Jaap Stam were all sold after disagreements with the boss.

We played head tennis on the Thursday and he was the referee. It gets to 9-9, [Steve Bruce] heads the ball up in the air and I do an overhead kick, it hits the line to win the game.

Sir Alex goes: "out."

Because we weren't speaking at the time I could not say anything. I looked at him, he said "out, game over they won."

As I walked away he said "there's only one Guvnor around here, Incey, and it ain't you."

Ince played 281 games for United in six seasons under Fergie, winning two Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Cup Winner's Cup.

Ferguson eventually sold Ince to Inter Milan for £7.5 million in 1995 following a stormy relationship between the pair.

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