Football

Ferguson would flip coin on team selection, says Phelan

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Former-Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson used to make some of his difficult team selection decisions by flipping a coin.

Phelan left Manchester United following Ferguson's retirement last summer, and the respect between the pair - who helped guide United to countless trophies - is obvious.

Speaking to the Manchester Evening News, Phelan gave a sneak peak into life working under one of the most successful managers of all-time - the stress, success and a few of Ferguson's stranger eccentricities.

"Part of my job was to hold him back because he could come out with some very strange decisions at times," Phelan told the Manchester Evening News.

"I had to guide him through them and I managed to do that at times. And he probably wasn't the only manager to toss a coin to pick a player to leave them out!

"It is one of the hardest things for a manager to say to a player that they are not involved in a particular game after they have done a hard week's training.

"But he would toss a coin at times in situations like that. Big managers have to make big decisions and over a period of more than 20 years he made more right decisions than he did wrong ones.

"Now he has retired and you look back, he probably worked us a lot harder in that last season. But every season he was the same."

Phelan replaced Carlos Queiroz as United number two in September 2008, and was alongside Ferguson as his assistant at Old Trafford as the club won three league titles, a Champions League and two League Cups.

The ex-United assistant is now keen to back in the game, and happy to drop down the divisions to get his opportunity.

He admitted there's been contact with a few clubs but "nothing of substance" - he was linked with the vacant manager's job at Middlesbrough.

Manchester United face Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday in the Premier League.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Manchester United

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