Sir Alex: We didn’t tell any Man United players about Scholes return

Manchester United boss insists Paul Scholes' return will give his side a big boost after the 37-year-old came out of retirement

sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson's side host Bolton on Saturday Photo: The Sport Review

sir alex ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Manchester United sought to keep Paul Scholes’ shock return to Old Trafford quiet to give the Red Devils a boost ahead of their FA Cup clash with Manchester City.

Scholes, 37, came out of retirement to play for United until the end of the season and was a substitute during their 3-2 third-round win over City at Eastlands on Sunday.

After having completed the deal for Scholes’ return last Friday, the United boss admitted he was surprised the news did not get out until just before Sunday’s clash.

“I don’t know how we managed [to keep his return under wraps],” Ferguson told Yahoo! Eurosport. “We registered him on the Friday, and we thought somehow it would get out.

“We kept it on Friday as late as we possibly could. Of course the game was on Sunday so you had Friday night, the whole of Saturday and Sunday morning to worry about it, but somehow we managed to keep it quiet. We didn’t let any of the players know.

“We did that simply because of the impact value. We were going away from home in a very difficult FA Cup tie against City. We had 5,000 fans at that end of the ground and as soon as they knew his name was on the team sheet they were fantastic, there was a great response.”

Ferguson is convinced that Scholes’ presence will add a new dimension to his squad as they continue their bid for a 20th top-flight title.

“There were no negatives as far as I was concerned. The only negative you were going to get was from the press, and one or two have been negative. They’re making out it’s been a ‘regressive step’ for Manchester United. How can it be regressive? You’re getting a player for nothing who’s been part of the club for 20-odd years, so how can it be regressive?

“He knows the club. He’s not going to play every game, and Paul knows that. But in terms of composure and passing ability, is there a better player going around? Definitely not.”

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