Brian McDermott has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson took just five minutes to respond to an SOS from the Reading boss ahead of their first touchline clash this weekend.

Manchester United manager Ferguson is renowned for giving a helping hand to up-and-coming coaches, but McDermott was taken aback by how quickly the Scot agreed to come to his aid at the turn of the year.

Refusing to reveal exactly what he discussed with his opposite number, McDermott said: "I spoke to him in January about something that I needed to address and he was very helpful to me and giving me good advice."

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