The legend goes that had Mark Robins not scored to help United on their way to the 1990 FA Cup final, which we went on to win, Sir Alex Ferguson would have been given the sack. This is a story that the manager denies but after almost four years in charge and not a trophy in sight it stands to reason that time might have been running out for the manager.
“The goal at Forest was an important goal, don’t get me wrong, and who’s to say what would have happened without it, but I don’t think it saved my job,” said Ferguson today. “You never know in football. Who’s to say how the club would have reacted if we’d lost and if crowds had tumbled? One thing’s for sure though. Bobby Charlton would not have let it happen. He knows better than anyone the heartbeat of this football club. This football club needed the foundation of youth and we were doing some great work on that side of it. Bobby knew we were on the right road.”
Robins disagrees though and reckons he did save Fergie’s job and appears to be a bit put out that he never got a thank you for it.
“Sir Alex wrote a book and, in it, he was asked the question, ‘Did that goal save his job’?” said Robins. “He wrote that in training I would have missed it – but because I got a push in the back from Stuart Pearce it went in. Excellent. So did I save his job? Yes, I did. But did he ever thank me? No. He has never given me advice. Given the task I had at Rotherham, I don’t think anybody could have helped. But down the line there may be one or two things I’ll need from him.”