Sir Alex Ferguson has been giving Rene Meulensteen advice, the Fulham manager revealed ahead of his side’s trip to Manchester United on Sunday.
Meulensteen worked under Ferguson at Manchester United as first-team coach for six years until last summer, eventually taking the job at Craven Cottage in December after initially serving under Martin Jol.
The Dutchman’s stint has been problematic so far, though, with Fulham enduring the worst record of all 20 Premier League teams since the date of his appointment.
However, he has been receiving help from Ferguson, who has been talking to him “on and off,” as he attempts to steer his side clear of the relegation zone.
“Sir Alex Ferguson knows what I’m capable of and he’s the first man who believed what you’re capable of doing,” he said.
Meulensteen was reluctant to discuss United’s current problems under David Moyes but said he was looking forward to returning to Old Trafford for the first time.
“I can’t comment on that because if you go, obviously I’ve not been part of what’s happening there,” he said. “I really want to concentrate on what’s happening at Fulham not Manchester United.
“Like I said, for us it’s another game, against a very strong opponent. We have to get our act together and hopefully get something out of it.
“It’s brilliant [to go back], absolutely brilliant. It’s just been such a special club for me and still is. I have got a lot of friends there and still have. I will enjoy every moment of it.”
One player unlikely to play at Old Trafford is new Fulham signing Kostas Mitroglou, although Meulensteen said the club would assess him in training. Fellow new recruit Johnny Heitinga, however, may feature.
“What I can say is Johnny is very, very fit, training very well. And with Kostas Mitroglou, we’re trying to bring him up to speed, coming from Greece, and see how he goes in training,” Meulensteen said. “He’s improving all the time. How far away he is, I couldn’t really say. I can’t tell you that.”