The Red Devils missed out on a 13th top-flight crown on a dramatic final day of the Premier League in May 2012 after being pipped to the title by bitter rivals Manchester City.
They walked out that dressing room with their blazer and flannels on, they represented the club in the proper way and I think everyone would be proud of them because they acted that way
Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson’s side looked destined to be crowned English champions after a 2-0 win at Sunderland with minutes left to play at The Etihad, with City trailing 2-1 against Queens Park Rangers.
However, the Citizens scored two dramatic goals in added time to secure a 3-2 victory and win the Premier League crown on goal difference.
But Ferguson was proud with the United squad’s reaction to their disappointing title blow.
“We were champions for 30 seconds. You’ve got to understand that these are human beings and they are hurting as much as anyone, as much as I am,” Ferguson told ESPN FC.
“In terms of leading them and bringing our personality into the room, in terms of dealing with it, they have got to represent themselves and the club properly. So I said to them in the dressing room that night: ‘There’s nothing to be ashamed of; you were fantastic. Walk out that door and tell everyone you’re going to win the league next year. That’s your job’.
“All the directors were there and it was a devastating moment; it was incredible. You have to say we did throw the league away. Hands up, we all know we’re responsible for throwing the league away but, nonetheless, we lost it and you have to deal with that and the players’ attitude was good.
“They walked out that dressing room with their blazer and flannels on, they represented the club in the proper way and I think everyone would be proud of them because they acted that way.”
United hit back in the 2013/14 season as Ferguson’s men stormed to the Premier League title with the help of £24m signing Robin van Persie.
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