I took Fergie’s hairdryer on the chin and in the face. He shouted and spat at me but it worked — Dion Dublin

I have a say

Posted Thursday, May 09, 2013 by The Sun

I took Fergie’s hairdryer on the chin and in the face. He shouted and spat at me but it worked — Dion Dublin
HATTA BOY ... Fergie welcomes Dublin to Old Trafford

DION DUBLIN has revealed what it is like being on the end of Alex Ferguson’s infamous hairdryer treatment.

The former Manchester United striker admits he was blown away when he suffered a half-time mauling by Fergie after he had missed a hatful of chances.

Fergie’s hairdryer has gone down in football folklore — and until now been kept under wraps by all of the Old Trafford manager’s victims.

But Dublin insists it was very real, highly effective and carefully targeted for maximum effect as Ferguson demanded the highest output from all his stars.

Dublin has revealed for the first time that Ferguson dished it out only after using a ‘personality’ selection process.

Fergie was always aware he could wreck a player’s confidence by letting rip in front of shell-shocked team-mates.

So before he turned on the hairdryer, he decided who had the mental toughness to suffer a ferocious mauling if things were not going right on the pitch.

Hitman Dublin was a surprise buy for Manchester United after they missed out on Alan Shearer in 1992.

But the striker believes Fergie knew what he was getting with him when he paid the £2million fee to Cambridge.

Dublin’s career never really took off at Old Trafford.

Just six games into his time with the Red Devils, he broke a leg and was sidelined for six months.

Two months after Dublin was crocked, Fergie signed Eric Cantona.

As a result, Dublin’s appearances on his return were greatly restricted.

But he remembers vividly a League Cup game at Stoke in September 1993.

He said: “I’d missed five or six chances and I came in at half-time and I knew I was getting it — I was expecting it from the manager.

“I sat there. I took the hairdryer on the chin, in my face, in my eyes everything came out of his mouth.

“He spat at me. He shouted at me. I went out in the second half and I scored our only goal in a 2-1 loss. He knew I was a strong boy who could take his hairdryer and react well.

“But he only does it to those he knows can take it.

“For instance, he would put an arm around David Beckham and the Cantonas and the Ronaldos.

“But people like me, the Bryan Robsons and the Paul Inces, we can deal with it and get the reaction the manager wants in the right way.”

Fergie dealt with dressing-room discipline in his own unique way, believing the code of silence would not reveal any of his trade secrets.

But when he lost his temper with Beckham, the whole world knew about it hours after SunSport broke the story.

Ferguson was annoyed at pictures of Beckham and his wife Victoria appearing in all the showbiz gossip pages and believed it was affecting his performances on the pitch.

When Beckham had a poor FA Cup match against Arsenal in 2003, which United lost 2-0, the manager went ballistic.

Ferguson kicked a boot and it landed on Beckham’s head, leaving a cut that needed a couple of stitches to repair the damage.

It was the beginning of the end for Beckham at Old Trafford.

And as the boss and Becks grew apart, United cashed in and sold the England star to Real Madrid for £25m.

Yet Beckham, now with Paris Saint-Germain after calling time on MLS side LA Galaxy, admits: “The boss wasn’t just the greatest and best manager I played under, he was also a father figure.

“Without him, I would never have achieved what I have done in my career. He understood how important it was to play for your country and knew how much it meant to me.

“I will always be grateful to him for his support and protection.

“I am truly honoured to have been guided by the greatest manager in football and to have had the career that I had under him.”

Fergie showed no favouritism towards his squad and all his top stars incurred his wrath to a greater or lesser degree.

Rock-hard United defender Jaap Stam was ditched for making comments about Ferguson, inspirational captain Roy Keane ended his career at Old Trafford following a bust-up with his boss and Ruud van Nistelrooy did not last long after he was left out of a Wembley cup final.

But his methods drew praise from far and wide. League Managers’ Association chairman Howard Wilkinson said: “Sir Alex is the epitome of the mantra ‘Survive, Win, Succeed’.

“But with those he trusted, he was the very best sort of friend you could ever wish for.

“To say his presence on the bench will be sorely missed in no way begins to describe the massive hole he will leave behind.”



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