Manchester United defender Patrice Evra has revealed some harsh words from manager Sir Alex Ferguson put the team back on track after a defeat at Arsenal dented their hopes of a record 19th league title.
The French full-back was in the dressing room after the 1-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium on May 1 which left United just three points better off than Chelsea, who they still had to face at Old Trafford the following weekend.
Ultimately United beat Chelsea 2-1 and picked up the point they needed to seal the Barclays Premier League title with a draw at Blackburn in their next game, and Evra insisted Ferguson's words after the Gunners loss had really hit home, with the players fearing being on the receiving end of the legendary 'hairdryer treatment' from the Scot if they had slipped up.
He said: "After we lost at Arsenal he asked everyone whether or not they wanted to win the 19th league title and break the record? 'How many opportunities are you going to miss?' he said. 'You're going to regret it if you don't win it'.
"I was so pleased we got the point we needed at Blackburn, because if we hadn't I think we would have got the hairdryer!"
Evra is adamant this United side are not content just to have broken Liverpool's record of 18 titles and want to add many more in the years to come.
"Of course this is a great achievement and we're very pleased to be part of it, but we have the players and the quality to win more than 19," he told Inside United magazine.
"Our aim every year is to win the league and we won't stop here. When you play for Manchester United your target is always to win the league. Losing it by a point last season was difficult to accept and I felt like I had not done my job properly. This year there is a big satisfaction."
Evra hit back at those who questioned whether the current United squad was as strong as some of the previous incarnations under Ferguson, but admitted the team were at a low ebb in October around the time they played Turkish side Bursaspor in the Champions League.
They were fourth at that stage of the season, five points behind leaders Chelsea, and Wayne Rooney had just handed in a transfer request, claiming the club had not demonstrated their ambition with their summer signings.
"A lot of people have criticised us - I remember some saying earlier in the season that it was the end of the empire," the 30-year-old said.
"There were some difficult times - if you look back to when we played Bursaspor, we were behind in the league and there were things going on off the pitch, but I remember doing an interview after that game where I said: 'You have to pay the musician at the end of the show, not now'. I always believed and I was proved right because we won the league."Reuse content