Manchester United manager reflects on his Old Trafford tenure and makes a statement that embodies the never-say-die spirit.
Ever since Steve Bruce struck an extraordinary 97th minute 2-1 winner for Manchester United against Sheffield Wednesday in April 1993, a goal that provided the club with a great boost as it continued it's voyage towards a first domestic league title since 1967, the British footballing phenomenon known as Fergie Time became increasingly common in the sporting lexicon.
It is a phrase that has transcended soccer having crept into Tennis when Andy Murray defeated Fernando Verdasco by three sets to two after being 2-0 down, claiming a quarterfinal victory in Fergie Time, while a Manchester branch of popular Portuguese fast-food chain Nandos stayed open five minutes after it's traditional closing when it was revealed Ferguson was retiring, in a tribute to the moxie Scot.
While not necessarily speaking exclusively of Fergie Time per se, Ferguson did explain on the official website of UEFA recently that the best moments in his United tenure often arrived in the concluding 15 minutes of a match. From, say, 80 minutes to the final whistle and, considering the 1999 Champions League final was won in injury time, it is not hard to see why Sir Alex is such an admirer of maintaining a positive mentality right to the game's death.
On that historic game with Bayern Munich, United's opposition in this evening's quarterfinal Champions League match at Old Trafford, Ferguson said: "You couldn't do it a better way because there was no comeback.
"If you're going to do something special, doing so as late as that is fantastic. It wasn't an accident because that team did it so many times that season. They had a fantastic desire to win. They had a great team spirit, a great character about the team, and they deserved to win simply because they kept doing it.
"Some of the greatest moments in my time at United have been in the last 15 minutes, without question. Say you're down 1-0 or 2-1, there's no point in being conservative and playing your normal game because it hasn't worked for 75 minutes. So risk and shove an extra player up front.
"We did that in the final against Bayern Munich with Solskjær, [Andrew] Cole and [Teddy] Sheringham."
In a 2009 study by Opta, it was revealed that United were not the greatest beneficiaries of apparent additional seconds/minutes in injury/additional time, but Chelsea.