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Ferguson involved very little, reveals Mourinho

Jose Mourinho revealed Alex Ferguson has had little involvement since his reign at Manchester United started, but hailed the support he receives from the club's former manager.

Ferguson, now a director and club ambassador, praised Mourinho's performance as United boss in a series of interviews this week.

The Portuguese divulged that the ex-United boss has largely kept his distance from the first-team squad since his arrival, but insisted he is always welcome and is thankful for the support he has previously provided.

"Very little - very little, to be honest," Mourinho told reporters of how much Ferguson is involved.

"The support I feel is the support I always felt with him except when I was a direct competitor and playing against his teams. 

"I always felt this kind of support. I felt the same when I was abroad in Italy and Spain. Friends wishing good luck and support to each other by a simple SMS - that can mean a huge amount in certain moments. 

"He is very respectful too, he doesn't want to be around, doesn't want to come many times. 

"I think he feels completely free because I told him that this is his house always and forever, but just a couple of times he travelled with us on the bus or train. He visited us once.

"We know that this is his club and his life. I appreciate [what he said], but I don't think I should comment.

"He is obviously an important person in the club and obviously means a lot but I don't want to comment because I wouldn't even if it was negative, I have too much respect."

United are preparing for Thursday's EFL Cup semi-final, second leg at Hull City, holding a 2-0 advantage on aggregate and a near full squad to choose from.

Mourinho said: "Everyone is available - no injuries. Marcos Rojo is back too. Eric Bailly is out of the African Cup – he is obviously not ready for Thursday but he is coming back, so no problems.

"My choices will be to try to go with a team that I think can guarantee us a good match.

"How well [new Hull boss] Marco Silva is doing is no surprise for me. I knew it. I knew that Marco was such a good coach that the team would really improve. 

"He still has a very difficult job in hand, still a big fight with some other five, six, seven teams for relegation, but a good coach. Very good."