"I admire his work ethic. He's serious about the game and he's committed and I like that in young people. And he has a lot of that Scottish ethic about him. Even as a young kid he was always a down-to-earth footballer.
"I know his family well - his father was in charge of one of the teams I used to play for as a kid. He's been brought up the right way and he's never changed in his attitude to life, which is great to see."
Ferguson added: "Phil got a fantastic ovation when he first came back here and Tim was well liked and well respected here. They'll get a good welcome but let's hope that's all they get on Sunday!
"They're a team in form and they'll be a handful for us. On the other hand, our own form has been excellent and hopefully we'll get the result we want."