Valencia reveals Fergie backing

United winger never expected to play so many games this season

Valencia: Has revealed Ferguson's reassurance helped him to return from a broken ankle

Antonio Valencia has revealed having the full backing of Sir Alex Ferguson was important in making his return from an horrific injury.

The Manchester United winger suffered a broken ankle against Rangers in the UEFA Champions League back in September and was initially rated unlikely to figure again this season.

However, he has played an important role for the Red Devils over the past couple of months and admits Ferguson was a reassuring presence during the early stages of his recovery.

"At the time I was worried," said Valencia, who is expected to start for United against Barcelona in the Champions League final on Saturday.

Reassurance

"You start to think about the other players who have had that type of injury and they've never really recaptured it, they've never really got back to the level they were at before.

"It was not just the manager who came, Mike Phelan the coach was there as well.

"They didn't really set me any targets, they just said, 'Look, these things happen in football, don't worry, take it easy, take all the time in the world, all the time you need, and everything will be fine'.

"The reassurance they gave me meant a lot. It inspired me to get back to full fitness as soon as I could.

"Knowing you have the full backing of the manager is important."

The Ecuador international has made 15 appearances since returning to action in March and never expected to have such an involvement in United's bid for trophies.

He added: "I thought I might make it back for the last couple of games when the league had been decided or maybe play the odd weekend in three, something like that.

"But to come back so soon and to be playing in decisive games from the word go, no, that's not something I thought would happen.

"Personally, I feel I have got back to where I was before but it's down to the management, the fans, my team-mates to decide if I'm better than before."

Who will win the UEFA Champions League?

  • Barcelona
  • Manchester United

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