Sir Alex Ferguson was famed during his esteemed managerial career of ruling by fear. Players, officials and opposition managers all fell victim to his mind games at some point, as did, it turns out, Manchester United’s own in-house channel – MUTV.

Speaking exclusively to UCFB from her home, Sky Sports’ Hayley McQueen revealed how nervous she was to interview Sir Alex for the first time when working for the channel before her move to Sky.

Recounting the interview following a shock league cup defeat to Coventry City, McQueen initially thought it was a “disaster” because she had only prepped questions for what she thought would be an inevitable United win. Sir Alex let her know otherwise though.

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McQueen, who joined MUTV from Middlesbrough FC’s in-house channel, said: “That was the first interview I ever did where I was nervous, I think my knees were actually shaking. But I did it, I got on with it and I was fine. At the end of the interview Sir Alex patted me on the back and said 'well done', so I thought I did well. And then a few interviews after that he would pat me on the back and say 'well done' too.”

McQueen added: “There was one day when I was in the tunnel where the media congregate, and I was next to Geoff Shreeves (Sky Sports), who I now work with, and I noticed after the interview Sir Alex gave him a pat on the back and said 'well done', and I thought 'ah, it’s not just me.'”

This was when McQueen found out this was the way Fergie kept the media on their toes, even if they worked for his club.

She explained: “I had a bit of a chat with him (Sir Alex) about it and he said that the day that he doesn’t pat you on the back and say 'well done' you’ll be like 'oh god', and it’s true! There was a day when he didn’t do it and there was this weird psychology like he’d done it on purpose because he didn’t like a line of questioning, but instead of saying anything it was what he didn’t say.”

Hayley McQueen was talking to Mark Clemmit as part of the UCFB Insight Series.