Paul Scholes admitted he made a mistake calling time on his
playing career at the end of last season, Manchester United manager Sir
Alex Ferguson has revealed.
The 37-year-old, who had made 466
league appearances for the Red Devils scoring 102 times, hung up his boots last summer to
take up a coaching role at Old Trafford.
with the Red Devils short of central midfielders through injuries to Tom
Cleverley, Anderson and Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher sidelined
with a chronic bowel condition, Scholes made a shock reappearance in the
FA Cup Third Round tie against Manchester City on January 8.
Scholes, who has
agreed to play until the end of the current campaign, marked his return
to league action with the opening goal in United's 3-0 victory over
Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.
And Ferguson, speaking to Yahoo!, revealed that the veteran pass-master came to him and admitted his regret at bringing the curtain down on his career prematurely.
He also explained his surprise that the news of Scholes' return for the cup clash at the Etihad Stadium was successfully
kept a secret, with United's players not even aware of the plan.
don’t know how we managed it, we registered him on the Friday and we
thought somehow it would get out," he said. "We left it as late as we
possibly could; the game was a Sunday so we had the whole of Friday
night, Saturday and Sunday morning to worry about it. But somehow we
managed to keep it quiet and we did not let any of the players know.
did that because of the impact value. When the 5,000 fans in the away
end knew he was on the team-sheet they were fantastic, the response was
great. There were no negatives as far as I am concerned. He only stopped
playing seven months ago and he has been training all the time with the
reserves, coaching and training so his fitness levels have been decent.
the last few weeks he stepped it up to intensive training because when
he came to see me he said: 'I think I have made a mistake, what do you
think about me playing again?' There were no negatives. For me great,
for the players in the dressing room great, and terrific for the fans.
"You’re getting a player for nothing who has been part of the club
for 20 years. He knows the club. He is 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."
For more insight from Sir Alex Ferguson and other leading managers,
plus exclusive Premier League highlights, visit www.yahoo.co.uk/sport
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