This is according to former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, who makes the point in his latest Daily Mail column that fearing failure - in reference to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger - isn’t a sign of weakness.
Rodgers told Carragher that he received a letter from Ferguson containing one standout line: “Never lose that fear”.
“Fearing failure isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a source of motivation. It keeps you on the edge,” Carragher wrote. “Mourinho isn’t afraid of losing a game of football but he doesn’t want to consider a day when his teams are not pushing for the honours that everyone wants.
“Sir Alex Ferguson was the same. I remember one day at Melwood, Liverpool’s training ground, chatting with Brendan Rodgers. He told me how Ferguson had sent him a letter after Swansea had won promotion to the Premier League, which contained a significant line: never lose that fear.
“The conversation took place in the season that turned out to be Ferguson’s last as Manchester United manager. Some in his position would have relaxed but I found it incredible, after all he had achieved, that the anxiety of not being a winner stalked him.”
Mourinho is 'driven by fear of failure'
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho famously branded Wenger a “specialist in failure” last season, but Carragher believed Mourinho’s success is driven by his own fear of failure.
Mourinho has already confirmed that he will celebrate the Premier League title for five minutes and then move on if Chelsea defeat Crystal Palace on Sunday - and many other successful footballers and managers have possessed similar mindsets over the years.
Ferguson, meanwhile, was always happy to dispense advice to other managers - but whether he had any more words of wisdom for Rodgers after he took the Liverpool job in 2012 is doubtful.
Is Jose Mourinho driven by a fear of failure? Have your say in the comments below!