Carlos Queiroz praying for Ferguson recovery

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The legendary manager has been at Salford Royal Hospital since undergoing surgery on Saturday, and United issued an update on the 76-year-old's condition. "It's a tough time for everyone but I'm thinking positive and hoping he will pull through".

Michael Carrick believes that Alex Ferguson's wide-reaching influence has been reflected in the goodwill sent the way of the former Manchester United manager.

Queiroz replace departing manager Vicente del Bosque in Real Madrid in the summer of 2003 but returned to United as assistant coach in July 2004.

"[The club] are positive, they are very positive".

"My wishes and prayers go to him and his family".

Current United defender Jones, one of a handful of players now at United who were signed by Ferguson, agreed, saying: "I know his character".

The United boss, meanwhile, does not expect the shock and worry to have a negative effect on his side against West Ham on Thursday.

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Hired from Aberdeen in 1986, Ferguson held onto his United job despite taking until 1993 to end the club's title drought.

Sadly, the answer to the question wasn't a good one with Doncaster suffering a 1-0 defeat to Wigan Athletic but the very question was simply heart-warming and perfectly sums up the man.

"In terms of injuries, [Romelu] Lukaku and [Marouane] Fellaini are the two players that are not available for tomorrow and apart from that [Phil] Jones is back, [Alexis] Sánchez is back and no more problems".

Ferguson is also said to have joked about attending the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Kiev later this month. He's a proper man. Football is not full of them, and not just football, society's not full of them, so when you find one of them, you have to value and you have to keep.

"As well as being uppermost in the thoughts of our own players, past and present, Sir Alex has been the subject of many warm and touching comments from other clubs, governing bodies and individuals in the attractive game".

However, they recognise it will still be a slow road to full recovery as he continues to be assessed, and his prognosis may not be known for a number of weeks. We make the case in our latest video.