Sunday 23 April 2017

'I told him that this is his house always' - Jose Mourinho opens up on Alex Ferguson's role in his set-up

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Jose Mourinho has explained how he has welcomed Alex Ferguson back into the first team fold at Manchester United, as he heaped praise on the legendary Old Trafford boss.

Ferguson had limited contact with the first team during the reigns of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal as United manager, but all that has changed since Mourinho took over last summer.

While Moyes and van Gaal seemed keen to distance themselves from Ferguson as they tried and failed to put their own stamp on United, Mourinho has taken the opposite approach as he has the confidence to welcome the icon in his first team set-up.

“He feels completely free because I told him that this is his house always and forever,” stated Mourinho of Ferguson. “He has travelled with us just a few times but this is his club.

“The support I feel is the support I always felt from him except when I was a direct competitor against his teams but I always felt this kind of support.

“Friends wishing good to each other, supporting each other by a simple SMS that can mean a lot in a simple moment. He’s very respectful, too.”

Ferguson praised Mourinho for the work he is dong at United in an interview earlier this week, with the United boss welcoming the contribution of the manager who guided the club to 13 Premier League titles.

“I don’t want to comment, I think I shouldn’t comment, obviously he is such an important person in the club,” he added. “I appreciate but I don’t want to comment.”

Mourinho went on to confirm he has no injury concerns ahead of the EFL Cup semi-final second leg against Hull on Thursday night, with his team defending a 2-0 first leg lead as they head to the KCOM Stadium.

That may open the door for Luke Shaw to make a rare first team appearance for United, while there will also be scrutiny on the role Anthony Martial plays in the tie amid reports that the France striker may have fallen out of favour with Mourinho.

Martial was left out of the United squad for last weekend’s game at Stoke, with Mourinho stating publicly earlier this month that he needed to listen to him and not his agent amid rumours of a move in this month’s transfer window.

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