Rio Ferdinand shares Sir Alex Ferguson's warning to players after Man City title
Rio Ferdinand has revealed the warning Sir Alex Ferguson gave to his Manchester United players after rivals Man City won their first Premier League title in 2012.
A Wayne Rooney goal at Sunderland had seemingly won the Premier League for United at the Stadium of Light with the Reds waiting for the full-time score at the Etihad Stadium to come through. City were drawing 2-2 with Queen's Park Rangers with time running out.
However, a late strike from Sergio Aguero secured not only the three points for Roberto Mancini's side but also their first title. The goal sparked mocking cheers from the Sunderland faithful as Ferguson's side had to settle for runners-up.
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Speaking about the atmosphere post-match, Ferdinand explained exactly what was going through the heads of the United players in the dressing room. "It was one of the maddest moments," he told William Hill's Stripped Podcast.
"We do our part and win against Sunderland, and the game finishes. Normally when a game finishes, everyone’s game has finished, and we go: ‘What was the score?’ And at that point we think we’ve got it, we’ve won the title.
"And then, all of a sudden, the Sunderland fans start cheering, the news comes round and they’re all cheering. And in that moment, it was like… boy, I wouldn’t give that feeling to anyone.
"Taking something you’ve given like a year’s worth of work to and all the intensity that goes with it… You know what the feeling is like when you win it, it’s there in your hands and then it just falls through. I’ll never forget Sir Alex Ferguson’s team talk after we went in.
"The room is quiet except for a few people swearing and kicking things. Then we’re sitting down with the manager, and he goes: ‘You experienced ones, you’ll get through this, but all you young ones (going around naming them), all of you remember this moment and remember their fans, the Sunderland fans who’ve got nothing to play for here. They’re sitting there and laughing at you and cheering.’
"And that was it: ‘Go and enjoy your summer.' You’d be running in pre-season, on holiday in pre-season, and all you are thinking about is ramming that back down Manchester City’s throat. We won the league the next year, so it was a mad moment."
United would win the league in style in 2012-13 with the Reds 11 points ahead of rivals City. Ferguson would retire at the end of that season with David Moyes taking his place.
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