Sir Alex Ferguson hits back at Paul Scholes critics

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says the shock re-signing of Paul Scholes is not a backwards step.

Scholes, 37, was a substitute in Manchester United's FA Cup win over Manchester City last Sunday - but some have criticised the move.

"One or two people have been negative and making out it's been a 'regressive step'," said Ferguson.

"How can it be regressive? You're getting a player for nothing who's been part of the club for 20-odd years."

Ferguson: "He's not going to play every game but in terms of composure and passing ability, is there a better player going around? Definitely not."

The veteran manager revealed that United only registered Scholes on the Friday before the game and kept the news a secret - even inside his own dressing room.

"I don't know how we managed it," he said. "We thought somehow it would get out.

"But we didn't let any of the players know simply because of the impact value.

"We were going away from home in a very difficult FA Cup tie against City.

"We had 5,000 fans at that end of the ground and as soon as they knew his name was on the team sheet they were fantastic, there was a great response."