Man Utd legend admits he refused to play reserve game and fell out with Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson speaking in a post-match interview
Sir Alex Ferguson was furious with one Man United player who refused to play a reserve game -Credit:YouTube/Sky Sports Retro

Manchester United legend Andy Cole has opened up on a brief falling out he had with Sir Alex Ferguson, which saw him get dropped for a vital clash against Arsenal.

The 52-year-old was a key player in the club's iconic Treble-winning season. His lethal partnership with fellow forward Dwight Yorke played a huge role in United's historic campaign in 1999.

However, his immense self-belief and confidence as well as his thirst for being a first-team starter often resulted in him being branded as arrogant; a tag he still struggles to shake off today. During a recent interview, the ex-Newcastle United forward reminisced on a situation that saw him jettisoned from the United squad before an away match against the Gunners.

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Speaking on The Overlap Podcast, brought to you by Sky Bet, Cole revealed an incident where he refused to play in a reserve game while recovering from an injury. He said. "I wasn't a sub kind of guy.

"I remember one year, I fell out with the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] he asked me to play in a reserve game and I said that I'm not playing. I think I was coming back from injury or something, but I said that I wasn’t playing. He said, 'Okay, no problem’.

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"We went down to Highbury, and he put me upstairs to watch the game and we lost 3-0. The week after that I got back involved and got myself back into the team."

Cole contributed 121 goals and 44 assists in 275 appearances for the Red Devils. While his decision to not play for the reserves evidently frustrated Ferguson, the former striker said it was this desire to always be part of United's first team that made him the player he was.

"It was that mentality, to be a sub at times, it cheesed me off and that got the fire burning even more," Cole added. "I look back now and realise that it was pride," reports the Express.

Andy Cole speaking on the overlap podcast
Andy Cole still remembers the day he was left out for the Arsenal game -Credit:YouTube/The Overlap

"If I look back on my career now, the things I did then, that's what I did. I look back now and think, could I have changed that a little bit? No, because would I have been the player I was?

"The only thing I'd turn around and say, I left United when I had the opportunity to stay. But that was me just saying, my pride says I need to go and play football, play as many games as possible."