McDermott’s Fergie dig-out

Brian McDermott yesterday revealed how Alex Ferguson took just five minutes to respond to an SOS from the Reading boss ahead of their first touchline clash this weekend.

Manchester United manager Ferguson is renowned for giving a helping hand to up-and-coming coaches, but McDermott was taken aback by how quickly the Scot agreed to come to his aid at the turn of the year.

Refusing to reveal exactly what he discussed with his opposite number, McDermott said: “I spoke to him in January about something I needed to address and he was very helpful to me and giving me good advice.

“I spoke to his son and asked him if he wouldn’t mind Sir Alex giving me a ring. And, five minutes after that conversation, a private number came up and it was him.

“So, that just tells you the calibre of the man and what he’s about.”

Pressed over what was said, McDermott whose side host United tomorrow added: “That’s between him and me and obviously just talking to him was good for me.

“I don’t know him particularly well but I just know him from that instance and I know that he’s done that with a lot of young managers in the past.

“He does a lot for football and he does a lot for people in the game, and everyone respects that.”

Robin van Persie will be one of the players McDermott’s men will need to stop tomorrow and the Dutchman remains in regular contact with former boss Arsene Wenger, according to the Arsenal manager.

“He texts me sometimes, We keep in touch. He tells me he still watches Arsenal games,’’ Wenger revealed on French television station Bein Sport.

Wenger has also revealed he could sign two players in January and bring Thierry Henry back on loan.

He said: “It could happen that we buy two players, but I cannot reveal the names. A loan [for Henry] is still a possibility, but we will still try to strengthen for the long term.”

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