MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United’s Phil Jones has told ESPN FC that Sir Alex Ferguson has the “fight” to overcome his health scare.
The former United manager underwent emergency surgery on Saturday after suffering a brain haemorrhage. The club released a statement saying the procedure had gone “very well” and that the 76-year-old would remain at Salford Royal Hospital for “a period of intensive care to optimise his recovery.”
Ferguson brought Jones to Old Trafford from Blackburn in 2011 and the defender has paid a heart-felt tribute to his former boss.
“When the news broke, I saw it on Twitter and didn’t know whether it was true or not,” he said. “[But when he found out it was true] Just devastated, absolutely devastated.
“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. 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’ United teammate, Juan Mata, has also spoken about Ferguson, wishing the Scot a “speedy recovery.”
“All of us were overwhelmed by the news about Sir Alex Ferguson’s health condition,” he said. “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 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.”