Pat Lam has admitted he didn’t know what the ‘hairdryer treatment’ expression was, the Bristol coach revealing he had to ask someone what the description meant after it was used by the media to describe his half-time team talk at The Stoop on Boxing Day.


Bristol trailed Harlequins 9-5 at the interval in London last Saturday and their inept performance resulted in a no-nonsense dressing room chat from Lam which resulted in the Bears going on to record a 27-19 comeback win. 

It led to comparisons between what Lam allegedly said and what Alex Ferguson, the retired football boss, used to do to rev up his Manchester United troops when they were under-performing.    

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Ex-England hooker Brian Moore in conversation with Jim Hamilton

Lam, though, couldn’t appreciate the comparison as he was didn’t understand the meaning of ‘hairdryer treatment’ in the first place.  

Asked about comparisons with Ferguson’s infamous motivational methods, Lam said: “I asked someone what do they mean by hairdryer. I’d never heard that expression and they explained it. 

“No, it wasn’t a hairdryer. It was just a straight question to the players at the time and they responded, so it was pretty calm. The beauty about who we are we know the difference when we play as a team and when we don’t. I’ve said it many times, we are pretty average as individuals. Despite us having really good individuals, the individuals don’t win you rugby games, don’t win you trophies. The team does. I was just highlighting that. 


“It was probably the first time in my coaching career I never made any notes in the first half because I could spot pretty early and throughout the game that we weren’t working as a team collectively and so I was just asking a simple question and they flicked the switch. 

“Fair play to the leaders, the senior group and the players, they got it the second half… I’m always conscious when I do those things you have to provide evidence and our review had clear evidence of stats straightaway.

“The analysis guys were sending me stuff on that night. Our key markers underlined exactly what my gut told me and why my eyes told me and so it was pretty clear for everyone. It was a good reminder because if we do that again, particularly against Newcastle, we will struggle and we will lose.”


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