Ferguson was asked to contrast the fiercely competitive nature that has kept him and the club at the top for so long with the softer side to his character that is often talked about but seldom seen.
In a rare moment of self-reflection, he said: "It's my own make up. I like to see myself in all of my players and that is somewhat obsessive. I'm driven. I don't like losing.
"It's been instilled through the years. It becomes a normal situation when players come into the squad and say "I'd better be like the rest or I won't be here too long". It's driven by me, of course.
"When I started at 32, I made sure I wasn't going to fail in this job but I've mellowed. Maybe I've got a short fuse but it goes away quicker.
"I switch off quite quickly now. When I was younger, dealing with people away from the game was difficult. At Aberdeen, my assistant Archie Knox and I would find a corner of the pub but someone would come over and voice an opinion, which wouldn't go down well.
"Now I just go straight home and what's really important is the post-match drinks with visiting coaches. We never talk about the game because it's gone. You accept it. It's about dealing with people with the same problems as yourself, the same anxieties, the same feelings of losing."