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Sir Alex Ferguson delivers rousing Ryder Cup 2014 speech

"He told us about how they went about making Old Trafford a fortress"

The former Manchester United manager lifts the European team’s spirits ahead of their clash against the Americans

The 2014 Ryder Cup is just hours away and the mood in the European team camp couldn’t be better, with Paul McGinley having drafted in Sir Alex Ferguson to deliver a keynote speech on Tuesday night.

The former United boss appeared at Gleneagles at the start of the week and spent Tuesday evening with the dozen players in the European side, with United-supporting Rory McIlroy especially impressed by the words of Ferguson.

‘It was certainly the highlight of the week so far,’ said the big Manchester United fan. ‘I was in this sort of trance listening to everything he was saying and thinking, “This is the sort of stuff that he used to say to all the great Man United teams over the years.” It was a great evening.’

Europe’s team also includes supporters of rival clubs such as Liverpool, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and McIlroy admitted, smiling: ’They certainly let him know that not everyone in the room was a Man United fan!’

‘You obviously don’t have to be a Man United fan to respect what he has done and appreciate that listening to him might help you to be successful,’ said McIlroy.

‘He was just really good on dealing with expectation, because he knows all about that, and how to be successful as a team. He told us about how they went about making Old Trafford a fortress and coping with being the favourites and how we’re favourites for a reason. That it’s not something we should shy away from. It’s something we should embrace.

‘He’s just a very inspirational man when he talks. He’s got a lot of authority and the room just goes quiet and everyone listens.’

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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