Solskjaer: Ferdinand was wrong. He should have called me

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has lambasted Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand for his criticism of Phil Jones.

Ferdinand said in midweek Jones ‘should’ve left years ago’ and accused the defender of occupying a squad berth that belonged to a youth-teamer.

Jones has struggled with a knee injury and has not played for Manchester United since January 2020.

“Phil has had a horrible 18, 19, 20 months and probably a year before that as well with injuries,” Solskjaer explained. “I think Rio was a bit, not out of order, he should have called me and asked why Phil hasn’t played or why Phil hasn’t been here.

“Phil is a no-fuss, get-on-with-it type of guy, and I think that was out of order completely (of Ferdinand), I know more than anyone how it feels to be injured. Phil is still not 30 years of age. Since I came back here, he’s battled against his knee injury and he put his body on the line every single training session, every single game, there are a few times we’ve had to manage him, and he’s never done anything but give everything for the club.

“Rio of all should know more than go out and say this. I wanted to say a lot, I’ve not said a lot about Phil’s injury because I protect him, he never does social media, never has to do interviews, just gets his head down, proper professional, no fuss, a family man and just wants to get back fit.

“We managed to get him half-an-hour against Burnley, which was the first-half-an-hour against an opponent. I was out for two years in a three-year period with a knee injury and Phil has battled valiantly and I know how Phil has felt. Because you’re embarrassed at times coming in, but he has to look after his career and he’s now getting back to fitness.

“Now is not the time for me to throw him in. Maybe give him a little more, a month, six weeks and he’ll be there. For me as a manager to see he can see light at end of the tunnel, it’s great because I’ve been through the same.

“I think Rio knows as well, he’ll feel a little bit sorry about that one. I’ve not spoken to Rio. That was a bit of a long one but I feel deserves that, he’s played here for 10 years and always given everything.”

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