Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Manchester United v Chelsea: Scholes salutes gaffer’s mental strength

Paul Scholes has admitted Sir Alex Ferguson's famed mind games are a major help during the Premier League title run-in.

Ferguson has never been afraid of courting controversy, most famously in 1996 when he wound then Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan up so much he exploded in frustration during a live TV interview.

He has been more subtle this week, claiming he fears a referee's decision might go against United in their do-or-die encounter with nearest challengers Chelsea at Old Trafford tomorrow.

Scholes has seen it all before and he believes Ferguson's interventions have a positive influence.

“He has had some famous run-ins with other managers down the years,” Scholes said. “Whether there's anybody to do that with this year, I am not too sure.

“But he is great as a calming influence on us. Coming towards the end of the season, there is no better manager to have.

“He has been through this, competing for the title, for nearly 20 years now, so he knows what he wants to do and he will get that across to us.”

There is an additional determination amongst the United players due to the fact they lost out on an unprecedented fourth successive championship to Chelsea by a single point last season.

“We were just as hungry last year but it is not nice when you see others teams celebrating,” said Scholes. “We want to make sure it's us this year.”