Belfast Telegraph

Fergie: Scholes is one of the best

Sir Alex Ferguson has labelled Paul Scholes one of Manchester United's greatest ever players after the veteran midfielder put the Red Devils on their way to a 3-0 win over Bolton at Old Trafford.

A week after his shock retirement U-turn, Scholes scored his first Barclays Premier League goal since August 2010 and his first goal at Old Trafford for almost two years when he turned home Wayne Rooney's cross-shot in first-half stoppage time.

It was the 151st goal of the 37-year-old's career and was more remarkable because Ferguson had told him to sit in midfield and control the play, with the manager admitting: "It was a surprise to see him at the far post."

He added: "With his age and the fact he has just come back, we were looking for him to control central midfield, which he did. But he has the instinct. He always has had.

"He probably said 'it was nearly half-time, I will gamble'. He is one of our greatest players. When you see his performance today, you don't lose that."

Up to that point, it had been a struggle for United. Wayne Rooney had a 20th-minute penalty saved by Adam Bogdan, who also repelled a couple of efforts from Danny Welbeck.

Eventually Welbeck and Michael Carrick struck late on to allow United to move level on points with leaders Manchester City, who head to bottom club Wigan on Monday, and Bolton boss Owen Coyle admitted Scholes' goal had made for a great story, although not for him.

And, after outlining the timescale of Gary Cahill's departure for Chelsea, Coyle confirmed the move to get United States defender Tim Ream in from New York Red Bulls is at an advanced stage and the player was in attendance on Saturday afternoon.

"Do you ever want to lose a player of Gary Cahill's quality? No," said Coyle. "But circumstances have brought it about and we wish him well. He is an outstanding player and an outstanding young man.

"Hopefully I can bring someone in, which we are very close to doing. We had Tim Ream in for a week and we would like him. We are close but we need to get an application in for a work permit so we don't want to get ahead of ourselves."


From Belfast Telegraph