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Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice to cult hero transformed one team’s stadium into a fortress, they were difficult to play against

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Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson shared important advice with a cult hero and transformed one team’s stadium into a fortress as a result.

Sir Alex Ferguson knows a thing or two about creating a fortress, with Old Trafford building a formidable reputation during his legendary Manchester United reign.

Teams would be scared of playing against United at the Theatre of Dreams and the Red Devils had an incredible fear factor under iconic former manager Ferguson.

Ferguson’s illustrious managerial spell at Old Trafford saw the Scotsman hoover up the major silverware, including securing 13 Premier League titles for the club.

The 82-year-old Scotsman’s achievements extended to United’s famous continental treble win in 1999, becoming the first English team in history to achieve such a feat.

Ferguson bowed out of Old Trafford in 2013 after he successfully led the Red Devils to their last Premier League title at the end of the 2012-13 season.

Despite his retirement from management, the ex-United boss has remained an ever-present figure at Old Trafford and continued to support the club from the stands.

Ferguson has shown incredible support to players who have transitioned to football management, while the Scotsman has provided valuable advice to other managers.


READ MORE: Sir Alex Ferguson asked which player he wishes he managed at Man Utd, he didn’t even hesitate

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Fergu

Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images

Tony Pulis, who announced his retirement from football management in 2023, built a formidable reputation during his time in charge of Stoke City.

The 66-year-old former manager was first appointed head coach of Stoke City in 2002 and his first spell at the club ended with his sacking in 2005.

However, Pulis returned to the Stoke hot seat in 2006 and had a more successful spell, including leading them back to the Premier League for the 2008-09 season.

Stoke’s stadium, formerly known as the Britannia Stadium, became well known as a tricky venue for Premier League teams to visit and pick up results.

Pulis, who left the club for the second time in 2013, revealed that he contacted Sir Alex Ferguson after Stoke’s promotion to the Premier League.

The former Stoke boss revealed that Manchester United legend Ferguson urged him to transform the Britannia Stadium into a place that “no-one wants” to visit.

Speaking to the No Tippy Tappy Football podcast (via Stoke-on-Trent Live), Pulis said: “When we got promoted at Stoke, I called Sir Alex Ferguson up.

“He told me, ‘Your best chance is making the Britannia a place no-one wants to go. If any of the top teams go there and praise you, you’re not doing it right.

‘If you’ve got the best players in the world, then building from the back is fine, but the majority of teams don’t.

‘The bottom line is football is about winning and if you don’t win football matches you aren’t going to be in the job very long. You need to find out what your strengths are and play to them. Don’t worry about what others do.’”

Pulis talks changes at Britannia Stadium

Pulis admitted that he “never forgot” what Ferguson told him, which resulted in changes to Stoke’s stadium.

According to Pulis, the changes included the pitch being narrowed and cult hero Rory Delap coming more into play thanks to his legendary throw-in ability.

“I never forgot what he [Ferguson] said, and as a result, we narrowed the pitch in, grew the grass and brought Rory Delap into play,” he added.

“We found a way to win and it worked.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been at a football stadium where the crowd and team were so together – we used to play the top teams and the place used to light up.”

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