Sir Alex Ferguson is a master of the mind game. And he began the use of the ‘dark arts’ ahead of Manchester United’s crunch game with Liverpool today, piling the pressure on the Reds’ forward Luis Suarez.
Ferguson wanted to know why Liverpool did not appeal Suarez’s 8-match ban for racially abusing United’s Patrice Evra, if they felt he was innocent.
"Why didn't they appeal?", he said.
Suarez was banned by the FA following the incident with Evra at Anfield in October.
But this week Kop manager Kenny Dalglish said the South American should never have been banned and 25-year-old Suarez insisted he has nothing to apologise for.
Fergie said: "They have said plenty haven't they? We have just got on with our job and kept our dignity throughout and we will just concentrate on the game. We have kept our counsel, which is the right thing to do in these situations, and we'll keep it that way."
Today's clash will be his first start and all eyes will be on the pre-match handshake with Evra.
Suarez is guaranteed a red-hot reception from the United faithful — just as Evra received when he returned to Anfield in United's 2-1 FA Cup defeat last month.
Ferguson added: "Patrice has handled it well. I don't think he enjoyed the abuse he got at Anfield but it happens.
"Gary Neville had it for 15 years and Wayne Rooney gets it when he plays against them.
"We expected it and so did Patrice. He handled it well."