The Sunderland boss, who faces his former United team-mate in today's FA Cup showdown against Notts County, yesterday revealed the extraordinary prank that the self-proclaimed 'Guv'nor' played after he had been dropped.
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'We saw him do it,' Bruce said. 'He was only 21 or 22 and he brought a big air rifle in to shoot him. Fergie must have shouted at him or something like that to provoke it!
'It was tongue in cheek but he knocked on the door, poked the gun through and said, "You'd better stop picking on me and you'd better play me on Saturday!"
'He was larger than life and a good character to have around. I don't think Fergie had been attacked with a rifle before.'
County boss Ince joined United from West Ham in 1989 and went on to win two Premier League titles with Bruce. Although the pair are great friends now, Bruce admitted he was uncertain about Ince when they first met. Bruce added: 'He was a bit mad. He liked to think he was the "Guv'nor" and it showed how much front he had to be called the "Guv'nor" even when he walked in the door.
'I just thought, "Who's this cocky little thing from West Ham?" but when you're cocky like him you have to back it up and by God he was a good player.
'To have him and Roy Keane in front of me in their prime was some combination, with (Andrei) Kanchelskis and (Ryan) Giggs and (Mark) Hughes and (Eric) Cantona up front. It was some team.
'There were times when you could question his bottle or attitude but you could never question his ability.'
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