"He has a reputation as a bit of a father figure to managers and he has been a tremendous help to me.
"When I was out of the game for all that time he texted me out of the blue and invited me over to Carrington to watch training.
"He told me to sort it out with Mike Phelan and just get myself amongst it again. But I chose not to go because I didn't want to stand there as a spare part.
"You just think about all the stuff he has on his plate and he still took the time to do that. It speaks volumes for him as a person."