Phil Jones says former United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is ‘like a father’ to him
The England defender also believes the 76-year-old has the ‘character’ and ‘fight’ to return to health after suffering a brain haemorrhage.
Manchester United defender Phil Jones has described Sir Alex Ferguson as “like a father” to him.
Former United boss Ferguson, who won 38 trophies during his time at Old Trafford, remains in a Salford hospital having undergone emergency surgery on Saturday following a brain haemorrhage.
Jones is one of those currently at United who was signed by Ferguson, having joined from Blackburn in 2011, and the England international has described how pivotal his old manager was in helping him settle in.
“(I am) just devastated, absolutely devastated,” Jones said.
“He is such a legend in my eyes. He is the one who brought me to the club and gave me that opportunity to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. He’s taken me under his wing like a father and it was shocking, it’s sad, but I know his character.
“I know he has that fight in him. Hopefully he’ll recover well.”
Current top-flight managers at United’s rival clubs such as Arsene Wenger, Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp all had messages of support for 76-year-old Ferguson over the weekend.
And on Sunday, after some Manchester City fans ran onto the pitch to celebrate their Premier League title success, two supporters held up a sign which read: “Football aside get well Fergie”.
Jones added: “He has got all his family and friends around him, the support from all the players and staff at Man United and football around the world.
“When something like that does happen it’s nice that the football world comes together and shows support and we are all rooting for him. I’m sure he will be fine.”
Jones’ team-mate Juan Mata also dedicated his weekly blog post to Ferguson.
Although the Spaniard was signed by Ferguson’s successor David Moyes, midfielder Mata spoke about the Scot’s lasting impact at United.
“This blog’s entry is going to be particularly short, if you don’t mind,” Mata said.
“This Saturday, all of us were overwhelmed by the news about Sir Alex Ferguson’s health condition. This circumstance has had a huge impact on Manchester United, as you can imagine. All of us are united right now, wishing Sir Alex a speedy recovery. He has been a unique and fundamental figure in the football world over the last few decades.
“I’ve never been coached by him, unfortunately, yet I know well his incomparable legacy on this club, that winning mentality and fighting gen(e) that we must honour in the last three games of the season, especially in the FA Cup final.
“To achieve that, we are going to work hard while we eagerly await good news about Sir Alex’s recovery.”