Manchester United: Sir Alex Ferguson returns to training ground

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Sir Alex Ferguson in 2006

New Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played under Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford

Former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has returned to the club’s training ground for the first time since suffering a brain haemorrhage.

Ferguson, 77, met former striker and current caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Carrington on Saturday.

The Scot did not attend any training sessions during David Moyes and Louis van Gaal’s managerial reigns, but was invited back by Jose Mourinho.

“He enjoyed his time at the training ground,” said Solskjaer.

“He had a few nice chats with the staff and he encouraged us.”

United have won all three Premier League games since Solskjaer, 45, was appointed until the end of the season following Mourinho’s sacking on 18 December.

Mike Phelan, Ferguson’s former assistant, has returned to the backroom team, while Michael Carrick, a player Ferguson signed in 2006, remains on the coaching staff.

Ferguson signed Solskjaer from Molde in 1996 and made the Norwegian reserve-team boss after he retired as a player in 2007.

Solskjaer, who won the Champions League, six Premier League titles and two FA Cups at United, said: “I had him for 15 years. He influenced me more in those 15 years than he’s done last week but I keep him informed.

“He knows the staff are Manchester United through and through. He knows we are going to do whatever we can, up to the last second we are here, for the club.”

The most successful manager in the history of British football, Ferguson won 38 trophies during 26 years in charge at United before retiring in 2013.

He had emergency brain surgery on 5 May and spent several days in intensive care. In July, he spoke publicly for the first time since the operation.

‘Sanchez champing at the bit’

United have scored 12 goals in Solskjaer’s three games in charge.

They visit Newcastle on Wednesday, when they should have forward Alexis Sanchez available after a month out with a hamstring injury.

The Chile international has been a disappointment since joining from Arsenal in January 2018, and Solskjaer turned down his request to play in Sunday’s 4-1 home win over Bournemouth.

He said: “Alexis is champing at the bit and wanted to be involved against Bournemouth, but it was too early for him.

“He will be involved at Newcastle, though, and he is looking forward to it. He has had some great training sessions over the last few days and scored quite a few nice goals, so that is encouraging.”