SAF still gets end-of-season jitters
Sir Alex Ferguson admits he still gets pre-match nerves as the season reaches what he once famously referred to as "squeaky bum time".
Despite having 11 Premier League titles, five FA Cups, two Champions League crowns and a host of other trophies in his cabinet, the 68-year-old Manchester United boss still feels the anxiety suffered by any other manager in the game.
Ferguson said: "You still get keyed up for games. It is part of it.
"It tells you that you still care about the game. Managers are subject to that more than anyone, that uncertainty and anxiety and apprehension about every game simply because the result is important.
"Whether you are top of the league or bottom of the league it is what football does to you. If it wasn't that way then we are all in the wrong job.
"It is the win, lose, draw situation. You aim to win. You can't lose too many or you lose your job. There is no one in the game directly responsible for results more than the manager.
"No matter what way you look at it we are all subject to winning games of football and if not then we are on the dole."
Ferguson, whose side will stay top of the table if they win at Bolton tomorrow evening, will be pacing up and down in the away dressing room at the Reebok Stadium waiting for kick-off.
He added: "There is that time when the players are doing their warm-up and you are on your own in a sense. Your staff are doing their jobs.
"It is okay when you are at home because you have your office but when you are away from home there is always that killing time, walking about and sitting in the dressing room."
Ferguson said the touchline clash between Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini and Everton's David Moyes in midweek was a sign of such tension - and he praised the managers for making amends.
"Mancini wanted to rush the game, David was happy because he was 2-0 up," said Ferguson. "He says he maybe kept it for a second or two longer!
"The good thing is that Roberto apologised which was good of him. I think that was big, and they had a glass of wine after."
Ferguson said he will be content if United arrive at the end of the season needing victory against Stoke at Old Trafford to secure the title.
Chelsea and Arsenal are also both at home, to Wigan and Fulham respectively.
"With the three of us at home on the last day, if we have to win our home game I would be quite happy about that, and the other two will be saying the same thing.
"I am trying to work out the run-ins and what the eventuality is going to be and I cannot see anything other than it possibly going to the last game, unless somebody blows up."
Ferguson also expressed his bemusement that Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen should have had his appeal against a sending-off rejected with no extra punishment, while Rio Ferdinand was given an extra match ban for a "frivolous" appeal. "It is so inconsistent," said the United manager.
"It is difficult to analyse why Rio's was frivolous and that (Vermaelen) wasn't. I can't answer it, only they [the FA] can answer it "They don't come out with a report do they, it's just sitting in the chambers of their minds."