Di­a­mond uses Fer­gu­son tips to take Sale to top

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport - By Char­lie Mor­gan

Steve Di­a­mond is us­ing the prin­ci­ples of the Manch­ester United dy­nasty built by Sir Alex Fer­gu­son to help Sale Sharks break into the Gal­lagher Pre­mier­ship elite.

Ged Ma­son, Sale’s co-owner, part-owns race­horse Give Me A Cop­per with Fer­gu­son. Through that, Di­a­mond has struck up a “ba­sic friend­ship” with Fer­gu­son.

“I’m not on the tele­phone ev­ery day,” said the Sale di­rec­tor of rugby. “When peo­ple like him talk, you tend to lis­ten and try and glean some knowl­edge.”

Squad man­age­ment is one area in which Fer­gu­son has in­flu­enced Di­a­mond. Sale op­er­ate with a small group of first-team play­ers, and will aim to use 30 over their first four matches fol­low­ing the Pre­mier­ship’s re­sump­tion next week­end.

How­ever, re­cent re­cruits such as Eng­land cen­tre Manu Tuilagi and South Africa lock Lood de Jager mean they can be hope­ful of reach­sev­ens ing the play-offs and chal­leng­ing for a league ti­tle for the first time since 2006. “We’ve man­aged to get 32 play­ers of a very high level,” Di­a­mond said.

“From so­cial­is­ing oc­ca­sion­ally with him and Ged Ma­son, Alex Fer­gu­son drilled into me how he used to run his squads.

“They were 22 plus two – two XIs plus two spares. I run two XVs plus two spares. I try to work on the same men­tal­ity.”

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