Birmingham boss McLeish: Fergie saved my career

Birmingham City boss Alex McLeish has revealed how a quiet word from Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson when they were together at Aberdeen made his career.

McLeish said: "When Aberdeen reached the Cup Winners' Cup Final in 1983 we were a small, provincial club yet we beat Real Madrid 2-1.

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"In the final we took the lead and I had a hand in the goal. But then, just before half-time, I was short with a pass back and Jim Leighton brought down their striker and they equalised.

"I was right down. It was my fault, and I felt destroyed and as if my game could go to pieces.

"But Fergie spoke to me at half-time and said, 'You've got to put it behind you and make sure it doesn't affect your game'.

"He told me whatever had gone wrong before, I could go and be great after that and it lifted me no end. He could make you feel 10 feet tall. I don't think I made another mistake and we won the trophy."

"These are the things that are etched in your memory for ever, and they tell you how the right word in the right place at the right time can make such a difference."

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