Last updated : 12 September 2004 By Editor

"He is ready for his comeback, but I may have to play him in one or two reserve games. I will make that decision next week.

"He hasn't even been allowed to play in any behind-door competitive games because that is not allowed.

"He's been great. He's been fantastic and I can't have more praise and admiration for a person than Rio Ferdinand and how he has handled the situation. He has been absolutely phenomenal.

"You need help and motivation in situations like that.

"It isn't an easy thing to get over, given that he has had a lot of publicity surrounding it. He has had to come in and train with guys who have played in international football, European Championships, Champions League, and he is missing that. For a young lad that is a lot. But he's back."